Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Did you know?

Some more Jewish tidbits I've picked up recently. . .

1. Genesis 10:21 - Shem is the father/ancestor of all the sons of Eber ('Ever). This is why the Hebrews descendants are called Semites. Abraham (Avraham) was a descendant of the clan of Eber ('Ever).

2. Hebrew was originally written using pictograph script.

3. By the time Jesus was born the common language among the Hebrews was Aramaic, however Hebrew was used in the synagogues and during Temple worship. Jesus would have known both Aramaic and Hebrew.

4. Hebrew does not depict numbers in the way we as Westerners are used to seeing. Instead of having specific characters for numbers, Hebrew uses letters of the alphabet to express quantities. This helps to explain why you'll sometimes hear about certain words having a numerical value, (ie. the number of YHVH is 26). In addition, the Hebrew numbers have masculine and feminine genders. Therefore, the character you use to depict a certain quantity depends on whether the noun being described is masculine or feminine.

5. The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is the core Hebrew prayer and is the central prayer of the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur). Many Jews will recite this prayer at least two times a day, in the morning and at bedtime.

There is so much more to each of these items that I can not even begin to get into tonight. Just a little bit of a teaser to get you interested in learning more!


Johnny said...

David Bivin gives a great definition of the Shema in his book "New Light On the Difficult Words of Jesus."

"Shema (shmah; lit. 'Hear') The first word of Deuteronomy 6:4, 'Hear [Shema], O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is one.' It actually refers to the recitation of three passages: Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21; and Numbers 15:37-41. The Shema is regarded by Jews as the supreme affirmation of God's oneness and uniqueness."

Also, the reason that many Jews use "G-d" to spell God is because, after 300 B.C., they were no longer able to say God's name for fear of “taking it in vein. The literally meaning of that commandment is that we should not call ourselves children of God and live as if we are not, thereby taking God's name for nothing.

In His dust,

MJS4Him said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Please keep sharing. It is wonderful!