Thursday, January 17, 2019

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- "k"

Genesis 3:5-6
 
ה  כִּ֚י יֹדֵ֣עַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֗י בְּיוֹם֙ אֲכָלְכֶ֣ם מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְנִפְקְח֖וּ עֵֽינֵיכֶ֑ם וִֽהְיִיתֶם֙ כֵּֽאלֹהִ֔ים יֹֽדְעֵ֖י ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע:
ו וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַֽאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָֽעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח מִפִּרְי֖וֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל וַתִּתֵּ֧ן גַּם־לְאִישָׁ֛הּ עִמָּ֖הּ וַיֹּאכַֽל:
 
Translation:     For Gd knows that on the day of your eating from it, your eyes will be opened; you will be like Gd, knowing good and evil. 
The woman must have seen that the tree was good for food, and an attraction to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for enlightening, and she took some of its fruit and ate; she gave also to her man with her and he ate.
 
Last but not least, here is k’, with object suffixes.  K’ means “the same manner as”, “similar to”, and with aspectless verbs it often means “just at the time that” as opposed to the  broader meaning of b’ plus an aspectless verb as “in the time period when…”
 
Notice that k’ needs an infix like me does.  You’ll see why when I tell you that without a suffix, when it is not prefixed to a verb or noun, this preposition is spelled כְּמוֹ.  Also notice the switch from “n” to “h” before the suffix.
 
Singular
Plural
Person/gender
כָּמֹנִי
כָּמֹנוּ
First
כָּמוֹךָ
כְּמוֹכֶם
Second/masculine
כָּמוֹךְ
כְּמוֹכֶן
Second/feminine
כָּמֹהוּ
כְּמוֹהֶם
Third/masculine
כָּמוֹהָ
כְּמוֹהֶן
Third/feminine
 
I talked about ba-asher and la-asher.  There is also a fairly frequent phrase ka-asher which means “like, in the same manner as”. 
 
So now you’ve had three things: k’ meaning “as, as soon as, according to”.
 
Ki which depending on context can mean “if”, “when” (“as soon as”), “but”, “lest”. Rashi quotes this and he gets it from Resh Laqish in Babylonian Talmud Gittin 90a.
 
Ki- which refers to the essence of something and can even turn imperfect aspect verbs into something like a noun for the status of something.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- conjugating "know"

Genesis 3:5-6
 
ה  כִּ֚י יֹדֵ֣עַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֗י בְּיוֹם֙ אֲכָלְכֶ֣ם מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְנִפְקְח֖וּ עֵֽינֵיכֶ֑ם וִֽהְיִיתֶם֙ כֵּֽאלֹהִ֔ים יֹֽדְעֵ֖י ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע:
ו וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַֽאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָֽעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח מִפִּרְי֖וֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל וַתִּתֵּ֧ן גַּם־לְאִישָׁ֛הּ עִמָּ֖הּ וַיֹּאכַֽל:
 
So here is “to know”, qal binyan.  It’s a peh yod and lamed ayin verb and the yod disappears in the imperfect. Memorize it.
 
The first is the gerundive for prepositions and the second is the one that cannot take prepositions.
דַעַת
יָדוֹעַ
This is the imperfect aspect.
 
Singular
Plural
Person/gender
אֵדַע
נֵדַע
First
תֵּדַע
תֵּדְעוּ
Second/masculine
תֵּדְעִי
תֵּדַעְנָה
Second/feminine
יֵדַע
יֵדָעוּ
Third/masculine
תֵּדַע
תֵּדַעְנָה
Third/feminine
 
This is the perfect aspect.
 
Singular
Plural
Person/gender
יָדַעְתִּי
יָדַעְנוּ
First
יָדַעְתָּ
יְדַעְתֶּם
Second/masculine
יָדַעְתְּ
יְדַעְתֶּן
Second/feminine
יָדַע
יָדְעוּ
Third/masculine
יָדְעָה
 
Third/feminine
 
This is progressive aspect.
 
Singular
Plural
Person/gender
יוֹדֵעַ
יוֹדְעִים
First
יוֹדַעַת
יוֹדְעוֹת
Second/masculine
 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 3:5-6 final

Genesis 3:5-6
 
ה כִּ֚י יֹדֵ֣עַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֗י בְּיוֹם֙ אֲכָלְכֶ֣ם מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְנִפְקְח֖וּ עֵֽינֵיכֶ֑ם וִֽהְיִיתֶם֙ כֵּֽאלֹהִ֔ים יֹֽדְעֵ֖י ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע:
ו וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַֽאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָֽעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח מִפִּרְי֖וֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל וַתִּתֵּ֧ן גַּם־לְאִישָׁ֛הּ עִמָּ֖הּ וַיֹּאכַֽל:
 
Translation:     For Gd knows that on the day of your eating from it, your eyes will be opened; you will be like Gd, knowers of good and evil.
The woman must have seen that the tree was good for food, and an attraction to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for enlightening, so she took some of its fruit and ate; she gave also to her man with her and he ate.
 
Now notice what the woman does. Va-tere is from raah, “see”, and it’s a certainty epistemic in its evidentiary form; a certainty epistemic at the start of a verse requires evidence that it’s true and most of the time it is in the same verse. There’s an exception in Genesis 14 but that’s outside the scope of this course.  When you get there you can email  any questions to me.
 
The evidence is always in narrative past. Here it’s va-tiqach.
 
The problem is that tere does not have the normal vowels for qal or hifil, and it’s also not an agentless binyan. This verb form shows up with the vav about 31 times and 3 times in the masculine form, throughout Tannakh. When it’s at the start of a verse, as it is here, it seems to have the same connotation: it impels the woman to action based on something she knows, instead of begging evidence to support the claim that the verb makes. It’s her knowledge that makes this form an epistemic.
 
Notice all the aspectless verbs in these verses:
Akhalkhem
L’maakhal
L’haskil
 
Akhalkhem reflects that they haven’t eaten yet; the snake can’t just use imperfect without the vav because that would make him look like a prophet. It would just be wrong.  Obviously he can’t use perfect aspect and the context doesn’t allow for any of the connotations of progressive aspect. Aspectless verbs show up where the aspects all give false impressions of how to understand what’s going on.
 
L’haskil is from a root sakal meaning to have insight or act wisely. The hifil has a special meaning which would have resonated strongly in the 1700s CE. The European enlightenment movement came into Jewish culture as the haskalah. From about the time of the American Revolution to the accession of Nikolai II in Tsarist Russia, this movement eventually led to a fairly large flow of Jews into secular lifestyles, though its original aim was only to make them more aware of European culture. One notable founding member was Moses Mendelssohn, father of Felix Mendelson the composer.
 
Anyway the situations here can’t use conjugated verbs.
 
And now gam. I think this is the first time we had it. It’s an emphatic. It marks something that is either unexpected or has no prior cause. The woman has been worried up to now about her own self. Now she gives to Adam. Gam is only used with substantives: nouns, substantivized adjectives (“the X one”), gerundives. Later there will be situations where an imperfect verb carries the action, but there’s a gerundive with gam. Sometimes it will be an aspectless verb.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Knitting -- non-curling edges

If you've been following this part of my blog, you already know some ways to keep edges on your knitting from curling up.

One is the standard ribbing for hems, cuffs, and necks on pullovers.

Another is the edging I gave you for armholes on sleeveless tees, which also works for the neck edging on a vee-neck.

With Shetland lace shawls, you generally do a center portion, a border, and an edging. The edging will curl unless you block it. Blocking works for everything, but sometimes you just want to bind off and wear immediately.

One method is utterly simple and works for the long edges of rectangular lace. It gives you the option of later attaching an edging or border, without sacrificing any of the lace motifs.
Once you have established the short edge (which I discuss next), k2, work your motifs across, and k2.
Do a k2 on the outside of every row, not just the rightside rows.
If you do attach a border or edging later, you will pick up in the middle of these two stitches.

When I was knitting dishcloths, one of the patterns taught me another no-curl edge, the seed stitch. A 4-stitch or 4-row seed stitch edging will resist curling until you can get around to blocking.

So for your short edge, cable on the number of stitches you need.
Now do k1/p1 across.
IF YOU HAVE AN EVEN NUMBER OF STITCHES, then on each subsequent row, whatever was the last stitch you made, repeat it as the first stitch and then alternate across.
If you have an odd number of stitches, then on each subsequent row, whatever was the last stitch you made, do the other one as the first stitch.
You wind up with
x o x o x o x o
o x o x o x o x
x o x o x o x o
o x o x o x o x

When you start your pattern, you can do the same at the start and end of each row. Make sure each stitch in your x-stitch border is the opposite of the one below it.

Seed stitch does not have the sturdy look of ribbing so it's more suitable to fingering weight yarn. Use it as a hem for a fingering weight lace coverup for a swimsuit, or for a fingering weight sleeveless tee.

You could possibly use it in something with Fair Isle motifs and introduce the colors of your motifs into the x's or o's in the seed stitch. I'm also considering it for an all-seed stitch top to use up leftovers from a project I have going on right now.

So here's the edge of a stole with seed stitch, the side with the K2, and the lace motif Shetland Old Shale.

This completes my suite of lace: a fingering weight stole to throw over a sleeveless tee after dark in late spring or early autumn; a sport weight stole for early spring or late autumn; a worsted weight stole that I throw on when I go out to put water in the birdbath on winter mornings; and a worsted weight shawl I snuggle into on winter nights.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 3:5-6, oblique modality (3)

Genesis 3:5-6
 
ה כִּ֚י יֹדֵ֣עַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֗י בְּיוֹם֙ אֲכָלְכֶ֣ם מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְנִפְקְח֖וּ עֵֽינֵיכֶ֑ם וִֽהְיִיתֶם֙ כֵּֽאלֹהִ֔ים יֹֽדְעֵ֖י ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע:
ו וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַֽאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָֽעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח מִפִּרְי֖וֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל וַתִּתֵּ֧ן גַּם־לְאִישָׁ֛הּ עִמָּ֖הּ וַיֹּאכַֽל:
 
Translation: For Gd knows that on the day of your eating from it, your eyes will be opened; from then on you will be like Gd, knowers of good and evil.
The woman must have seen that the tree was good for food, and an attraction to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for enlightening, so she took some of its fruit and ate; she gave also to her man with her and he ate.
 
Vocabulary in this lesson:
נִפְקְחוּ
Shall be opened
עֵינֵיכֶם
Your eyes
עֵינַיִם
eyes
תַאֲוָה
Desire
נֶחְמָד
pleasant
לְהַשְׂכִּיל
enlightening
 
Verse 5 has the third form of modality discussed in Dr. Cook’s dissertation, it’s v’nifq’chu. Notice the vav. The verb is not imperfect, it’s perfect aspect; the nun is from the nifal.
 
This is oblique modality. It takes something people generally know or agree on in the main clause, or something that actually happened, and tries to get the other person to believe something else.
 
In this case the serpent is telling the woman that when she eats from the tree, she will perceive things she never did before. This makes the midrashic comment about pushing her against the tree even more important, almost like there is a missing verse about it. Once he does that, and she doesn’t die, she would easily believe that eating won’t kill her.
 
The snake does one more thing typical when somebody is trying to get you to disobey. He implies that Gd is holding out on Adam and Chavvah. Gd didn’t tell them that they would be even more like Gd once they ate.
 
And that points back at the k’dmutenu of the creation narrative. In that case, the likeness with Gd was Shabbat observance. Now it’s knowing good and evil.
 
This is one more thing in which people are like Gd but angels are not. Angels have absolutely no concept of good or evil. When Gd tells them, “do this” they don’t even think, they just do it.
 
This also fits in with Olrik’s principles. In the creation narrative, there were two ways people were like Gd, b’tselem and b’dmut. Now they have a third opportunity -- to know good and evil, like Him. Three is a strong magic number throughout Torah and on into the rest of classic Jewish literature.
 
The Law of Three link means these two narratives were created in the same culture and had conceptual ties to each other, but because they have different goals, they are not the same narrative or different versions of the same concept.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 3:2-4, negated duplicate conditional

Genesis 3:2-4
 
ב וַתֹּ֥אמֶר הָֽאִשָּׁ֖ה אֶל־הַנָּחָ֑שׁ מִפְּרִ֥י עֵץ־הַגָּ֖ן נֹאכֵֽל:
ג וּמִפְּרִ֣י הָעֵץ֘ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּתוֹךְ־הַגָּן֒ אָמַ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֗ים לֹ֤א תֹֽאכְלוּ֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְלֹ֥א תִגְּע֖וּ בּ֑וֹ פֶּ֖ן תְּמֻתֽוּן:
ד וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הַנָּחָ֖שׁ אֶל־הָֽאִשָּׁ֑ה לֹא־מ֖וֹת תְּמֻתֽוּן:
 
Translation:     The woman said to the serpent, from the fruit of the garden tree we may eat.
But from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, Gd said: you shall not eat from it, or touch it: pen t’mutun. 
The serpent said to the woman: lo mot t’mutun.
 
Vocabulary in this lesson:
תִגְּעוּ
touch
פֶּן
lest
 
T’mutun is important grammar.
 
This is an uncertainty epistemic. We had certainty epistemics which use phenomena, perceptible things, as evidence for the truth of what is being said.
 
But death is not perceptible.
 
What’s more, nobody has ever died before, in the experience of either the woman or the serpent.
 
So the woman really isn’t sure that she has the straight dope.
 
What the serpent says is even more subtle and proves that he was watching Gd’s every conversation with Adam as well as Chavvah. He uses a duplicate conditional. He’s saying that there is no due process that will kill them.
 
There is a similar structure in Exodus 34:7, naqeh lo yinaqeh. What’s the difference between them?
 
In Exodus, the thrust of the statement is that there is no due process for declaring somebody innocent. That’s true in American law as well. Courts can convict or they can say “the prosecution/plaintiff hasn’t proven its case so we can’t record that the defendant was convicted.” Usually the defendant’s attorney will then go on the evening news and say “my client was found innocent” but that’s false.
 
But here we have lo before the duplicate conditional, and it’s connected to the mot that is the aspectless verb, and there’s even a little curve under mot that hooks it to the lo but the t’mutun is just hanging out there on its own.
 
As far as I know, there’s nothing else like this in Tannakh; if you find it, email me. But if I had to guess I would the serpent as saying, it’s not that there is no due process for killing them, it’s that Gd was lying when He said there was such a thing as dying.
 
In fact what has really happened is, the serpent knows Gd said not to eat, but he also knows that the “not touching” part, the woman has made up. So now he knows that if he proves she won’t die from touching the tree, she’ll also eat from it. And midrash does indeed say that at this point he pushed her against the tree, and the rest followed.