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Judeo-Arabic, North Africa, Hebrew Component in

(2,796 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
Most Jewish communities in the four countries of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) possessed dialects of Judeo-Arabic that differed from those of their Muslim neighbors. In many cases the differences between the Jewish and Muslim dialects concerned grammar and lexicon, for example the pronunciation of the consonant / q/ in Arabic in the Tafilalt region of Morocco, which was pronounced [q] by some Muslims and [g] by others, while the Jews pronounced it [k], e.g., in Muslim Arabic [bəqra] or [bəgra], as opposed to Judeo-Arabic [b…

Kaufmann Manuscript of the Mishna

(2,360 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
For more than a century manuscript A50 of the Kaufmann Collection in the library of the Hungarian National Academy in Budapest, known as the Kaufmann Manuscript (MS K), has been recognized as a superior source for the text and language of the Mishna. S. Kraus described the manuscript in a series of articles in 1907 and in 1929 Beer published a facsimile edition. Since then it has been used by scholars in their studies of the Mishna and its language, for example J. N. Epstein in his Introduction to the Mishnaic Text and E. Y. Kutscher in his studies on the language of the Mishna. The l…

Parma B Manuscript of the Mishna

(1,189 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
Manuscript Parma b (Pb) is MS 497 of the de Rossi collection in the Parma Palatina Library in Italy. Its 126 pages contain the entire Order of Teharot and nothing else. The text is provided with vowel signs and accents, one accent on every word. Words that are connected to the following word are provided with a conjunctive accent and words that appear in pausal position have a disjunctive accent: a silluq at the end of the mishna, an ʾetnaḥta at a major pause in the middle of a mishna, and other accents, such as zaqep̄ qaṭon at secondary pauses. The manuscript was apparently written in Iran (t…

Lexicon: Rabbinic Hebrew

(2,170 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
The Hebrew vocabulary of rabbinic literature has been documented by a number of lexicographers. Among the lexicons that most deserve mention in this respect are those by Jacob Levy (1924 second edition), Marcus Jastrow (1903) and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1948–1959) (the latter dealt in his dictionary with all the stages of Hebrew), all of whom based their entries on the material found in the printed editions of rabbinic literature, but also provide some data from manuscripts. Jastrow, in particular, …

France, Pronunciation Traditions in Pre-Modern South-Western France

(2,004 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
1. Introduction After the expulsion of the Jews from France in the Middle Ages there remained only the small Jewish communities in the Papal State (in the cities of Avignon, Charpentres, and two others). Jews returned to southern France only in the 16th century. In 1550 Henri II permitted crypto-Jews from Spain and Portugal to enter the country as ‘Portuguese merchants’. They were also called ‘new Christians’. These immigrants settled in the cities of Bayonne and Bordeaux and in a few towns in the…

Parma A Manuscript of the Mishna

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Bar-Asher, Moshe
1. The Manuscript Manuscript Parma a (Pa) is MS 138 in the de Rossi collection and no. 3173 in the catalog of the Parma Palatina library in Italy. The manuscript, written on parchment, contains the complete text of all six orders of the Mishna. A facsimile edition in two volumes (Vol. 1 containing the first four orders: Zeraʿim, Moʿed, Našim, and Neziqin; Vol. 2 the last two: Qodašim and Ṭohorot) was published by Kedem Publishing in Jerusalem in 1970. A photocopy of the manuscript can be viewed on the website of the Israel National Library in Jerusalem. MS Pa was written in Italy, probably …