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Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar

Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar ARAMAIC STUDIES Vol 4.1 (2006): 5-19 © 2006 Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA, and New Delhi) DOI: 10.1177/1477835106066032 http://as.sagepub.com Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar A DA R APOPORT -A LBERT AND T HEODORE K WASMAN University College London and Martin Buber Institute, University of Cologne Abstract This article introduces a new research project focusing on the Aramaic lan- guage of the Zohar —the most influential work in the literary canon of the Jewish mystical tradition. The Zohar is generally assumed by scholars to have been written in Spain during the final decades of the thirteenth century, although traditional kabbalists and Orthodox Jews believe that it was authored by its main protagonist, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, in second-century Palestine. While not disputing the late medieval provenance of the work, this article challenges the standard scholarly opinion whereby the Aramaic in which it was written was an artificially manufactured idiom, drawing its vocabulary, grammar and syntax indiscriminately from a variety of ‘genuine’ Aramaic sources. Part I of this study demonstrates that some of the most distinctive ‘flaws’ of zoharic Aramaic are attested in a wide range of much earlier Aramaic sources. Part II, which http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aramaic Studies Brill

Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar

Aramaic Studies , Volume 4 (1): 5 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2006 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1477-8351
eISSN
1745-5227
DOI
10.1177/1477835106066032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ARAMAIC STUDIES Vol 4.1 (2006): 5-19 © 2006 Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA, and New Delhi) DOI: 10.1177/1477835106066032 http://as.sagepub.com Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar A DA R APOPORT -A LBERT AND T HEODORE K WASMAN University College London and Martin Buber Institute, University of Cologne Abstract This article introduces a new research project focusing on the Aramaic lan- guage of the Zohar —the most influential work in the literary canon of the Jewish mystical tradition. The Zohar is generally assumed by scholars to have been written in Spain during the final decades of the thirteenth century, although traditional kabbalists and Orthodox Jews believe that it was authored by its main protagonist, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, in second-century Palestine. While not disputing the late medieval provenance of the work, this article challenges the standard scholarly opinion whereby the Aramaic in which it was written was an artificially manufactured idiom, drawing its vocabulary, grammar and syntax indiscriminately from a variety of ‘genuine’ Aramaic sources. Part I of this study demonstrates that some of the most distinctive ‘flaws’ of zoharic Aramaic are attested in a wide range of much earlier Aramaic sources. Part II, which

Journal

Aramaic StudiesBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: ZOHAR; ARAMAIC; LANGUAGE; DIALECTS; KABBALAH

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