Thursday, May 25, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- vocabulary review 1

Vocabulary review 1.
and, or, but, marker for some verb types
Emphatic direct object particle
he said
on, in, at, by (swear by), with (by means of), against
הַ, הָ
was (f.s.)
on, over, above
at the beginning
dark, darkness
earth, land, world
face, construct state, masculine plural
Let X exist
spirit, wind
waft, 3rd f. s., piel form (repetitive)

You have to memorize the words above the line.  You will see them over and over and you need to recognize them quickly when you see them.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, May 21, 2017

DIY -- wait, I'm not done yet!

Second week of the farmer's market.

Last year it either poured on Sundays or it was blisteringly hot.

This year has been lovely, as you may have seen from my photos. It was cloudy and mild today.

I came home with bulging (reuseable canvas) grocery bags about noon.

I stripped and blanched about 6 pounds of leafy greens, and they are in the freezer in the same bags as the ones I processed last week.

There are 2-3 pounds of cabbage freshly salted down for German style sauerkraut. I'll decant them and freeze them next week keyn ahora.

I still have to make pickled beets and turnips. There's be a beet in with the turnips to make them turn pink.

The strawberries are still a little young but I should be buying a couple of quarts in the next couple of weeks to gobble up and make into jam.  Looking forward to blueberries, too. And cherries. And peaches.  Slurp!

And most of the summer still ahead of me.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Redefinition Fallacy

The next fallacy relates to my requiring you, when you write about Jesus in Talmud, to use ordinary word meanings, or else to justify that the text belongs to a specialized class requiring associated technical terminology, and refusing to let you say “if we define the word this way….” The fallacy is called redefinition.
There are two kinds of redefinition, low and high. High redefinition means restricting the scope of a definition. An example is that in Tannakh, the phrase “no X like that” occurs in several places. Sometimes it has a qualifier like a timespan and sometimes not. The high redefinition ignores the “like that” (quoting out of context) and restricts the phrase at all times to mean “never at all ever.”
A low redefinition broadens the meaning of a word or phrase. The problem is, sometimes it deprives the word or phrase of any distinction from other phrases with similar meanings. That can blur the lines between dictionary entries, and smooth out shades of meaning. Sometimes distinctions are necessary.
An academic writing about Talmud, an oral work, claimed that it could be edited, meaning that during oral transmission, some of the text that made it into the written record was intended to replace other material that made it into the written record.
The problem was that he chose ordinary concepts as signs of editing, for example, “I say that…” This is a high redefinition. It changes all proposals, intended to open a discussion, into definitive changes to existing material. Not every discussion ends in editing prior opinions. Sometimes the proposed alteration is rejected.
In Talmud, proposals are raised, discussed, and then Talmud says “and this is actually the law,” or “these are the words of rabbi X.” The latter is a polite way of rejecting the proposal. Talmud specifically states that when this latter comment is recorded, and somebody later uses the same argument, he could be told “you are only copying rabbi X” with the understanding that the new proposal is also rejected.
The academic writer’s problem was that he ignored this cultural phenomenon. (Failing the test of Occam’s Razor.) He also admitted he had not done the work necessary to see if his hypothesis checked out.
The third law of SWLT rejects changing a definition unilaterally without sufficient contexts to support the new meaning. This one paper cannot change the meaning of a term documented more than a millennium ago, in a work which thousands or millions of people understood to mean one thing, unless the author has substantial evidence that the work has been misunderstood. Some things in the paper suggest that the writer didn’t know the contents of Talmud or the history and metadata needed to prove his point.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 18, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Grammar Review 1

All right, this is about the fifth month of this series and I think it’s important to stop and review. Here are the things I’ve talked about so far.
Perfect aspect verbs
Progressive aspect verbs
Imperfect aspect verbs
Narrative imperfect syntax
Shortened imperfect verbs
Certainty epistemic
Evidentiary epistemic
Deontic verbs
Epistemic verbs
Piel binyan
Qal binyan
The binyan system in general
Verb root classes
The nine lamed heh verbs that appear in certainty/evidentiary epistemic
Future use syntax
Vav and three reasons why it doesn’t mean “and”
Construct noun
Construct phrase
Definite noun
Indefinite noun
Subject incorporated in verb prefixes or suffixes
Dagesh and gutturals
Dagesh and long vowels
Dagesh in resh in Jewish literature
Using a dictionary: root letters
Transitive and intransitive verbs
Opening and closing a narrative
“To be”
Amar in imperfect aspect
If you can remember just one thing about each of these subjects, give yourself a reward, such as a week off. I’ll keep posting but you might need a brain break.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Knitting -- summer cotton

So I have a favorite summer yarn now, Comfy Sport.

It has a nice hand and a lovely drape. The sox I made from it are light as air and not too warm for  summer. The point of knitting my own summer sox is,  not so they match the tops, but commercial summer sox have too little give to the cuffs and they cut off my circulation.

Also a sleeveless tee.  For my 40 inch chest and short back, the stitch counts are:

bottom hem:  cable on 240 and 2 rows k1/p1 rib;
bottom body: 110 rows to armpit;
BIND OFF underarm: 6 stitches each side of marker;
top of body: 65 rows;
shoulder knit off: 25 stitches.

For the upper body, don't put the armpit stitches on a holder and knit steeking.
Do a k1/p1 rib like the hem, then bind off while working back to the body.

Make a nice neat armhole edge finish like this:
On the knit side make the edges like this: k3/p2, knit across, p2/k3.
On the purl side do k2/p1/k2 on both edges.

Later you can add an attached edging of knit lace. I got this finish from a video on a lace pattern.

These counts should work for any sport yarn.

My next daring feat is to knit one of these with lace using motifs and edging from the Williamson  Shetland lace stole:

This will be practice for using them on a shawl.

But I want to knit them in color so until I order that, I will start the next thing I planned for this yarn; a cowl neck that I can put under wool pullovers for extra warmth and less scratch.

I'm going to try two yarns that are cotton/linen, one DK weight and one fingering. I plan to make a top in each one and a skirt from a pattern I got from my favorite online store. I think it was free. Will keep you posted.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- explaining translation

So the fallacy is that SWLT creates problems with translation.  What’s a fallacy is that the claimant doesn’t define translation and that’s the fallacy of ambiguity.
Is translation one-for-one substitution of a word in the target language for a word in the source language?
If so, yes, SWLT gets in the way because such a technique ignores multi-word idioms and the fact that no two languages have words for all the same concepts, because concepts are culture-based and each language represents a different culture.
If not, then SWLT doesn’t get in the way, it just makes the translator work harder to get a good result.  The lexical meaning and grammar must combine with an understanding of the culture for two reasons.
One is that every dictionary, unilingual or multi-lingual, if accurate, will give more than one meaning under most entries.  Most words in a given language have multiple shades of meaning or have multiple applications, as with “intent” and “theory.”  Picking the wrong target word in translation produces everything from “not even wrong” to something so slightly off track that you can’t put your finger on it.
The other, of course, is that the translator can’t do a really good job on some parts of the translation without footnoting the cultural meaning of the source word.  A naïve translator who tends toward word-for-word substitution won’t do this because he doesn’t realize that he is translating incorrectly for the cultural understanding of the words.  And if the translator chooses, as I often have, to transliterate and not translate, there should be a footnote saying why.
When a new translation is commissioned, the publisher intends to make a profit from it.  She decides what price point she will sell at, and hires her translator accordingly.  She’s not going to hire an academic if she wants to sell to an average reader at an average price.
She then takes her chance that she gives a work from 17th century France to a translator who knows a lot about 19th century France.  The difference in date means a difference in cultures, from the Grand Monarch to the Buonapartes’ Second French Empire, from the Scudery romances to Victor Hugo’s realism. 
Something like this probably happened with ben Hayyim’s book, resulting in “time” as a translation for a concept that grammar calls “tense” and which is, in any case, wrong for a grammatical description of an ancient Semitic language.
Without an objective definition of “translation,” you can’t discuss this issue objectively.  But you can point out that people who knew nothing about SWLT, including the Septuagint translators who worked 22 centuries before SWLT developed, had problems of translation. It’s the context, stupid!

Next up, a fallacy that goes back to the Talmud discussion.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 11, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- epistemics

Genesis 1:3
ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי־אוֹר וַיְהִי־אוֹר:
Translation:     Gd said Let light exist; light must have existed.
Whoops. What happened there?
Well, the last verb in this verse is not a deontic. It’s an epistemic. I tend to call it the certainty epistemic, but that only applies to one use of it and there’s another that I call evidentiary epistemic.
It looks like a shortened imperfect but it has the vav prefix.
There are only eight verbs that do this often, and one that does it less often, and they are all lamed heh verbs.
The last verb has two meanings: “torment”; and “respond, answer, recompense.” The latter is the one that shows up as certainty/evidentiary epistemic. 
What does this epistemic do?
As evidentiary, it introduces information that supports the claim made in the verb.
As certainty, it says “what I just said is unquestionably the truth.”
Epistemics are always about the “speaker’s” investment in the truth of what was just said and they are the second of the three modalities I learned about in Dr. Cook’s dissertation.
And they always look two ways at once.
What this verse ends up saying is “I believe with perfect faith that the events I just reported are true, that light came into existence by the thing that Gd said.”
But it also says “I believe with perfect faith that Gd is the One who said this and made it come about in that way.”
It’s belief in both the verb and the subject, due to the existence of the object or the predicate. I’ll explain that more when we get to the next verse.
It is not possible for English to capture in one word what the epistemic means. I had to use periphrasis to do it. This is standard for every translation from one language into another; the translator runs into things that word-for-word substitution fails to convey.
When you are looking for a translation of anything, especially ancient literature, and the publisher blurb touts it as “literal”, do not waste your money. The blurb was written by somebody who doesn’t understand translation and is preying on the ignorance of the average person to make a sale.
This is why Muslims and traditional Jews view all translations with suspicion. If you want to know what the Quran “really says”, you should be prepared to invest a good deal of time in learning Quranic Arabic. Luckily, there are a couple of texts online for free. One of them is based on the Quranic Arabic tradition of grammar; the other is more westernized, but it is the ONLY grammar of Arabic, either classical or modern, that actually explains what the so-called “energetic” verb form does.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved