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Shma Koleinu: A Jewish People's Commentary on the Siddur
by Rabbi Steven Schwarzman


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Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition (21 Volume Set)
Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition (21 Volume Set)

Aramaic - a Jewish language?

Looking for a good Aramaic book?

Aramaic was the lingua franca (common language) of the ancient near east. Not originally a Jewish language, it now exists mostly in Jewish books. There is some Aramaic in the Hebrew Bible (especially in Daniel), and the Talmud is primarily in Aramaic. Some prayers we recite to this day are in Aramaic - most notably the Kaddish. Aramaic and Hebrew share the same alphabet.

Today, Aramaic is not much of a living language. It's spoken by a small number of - believe it or not - Jews, Moslems, and Christians from various parts of the Middle East.

Is it Aramaic, or is it Hebrew?

However, Aramaic lives on in Jewish books. If you're not sure if a text is Hebrew or Aramaic, try this quick rule-of-thumb: Hebrew words have the letter hay in the beginning for a definite article ("the"). The Aramaic equivalent is to put an aleph at the end of the word. For example, "father" in Aramaic is abba. Wait a minute, you say? That's Hebrew? No, it's really Aramaic. The Hebrew word for "father" is av. But just to confuse you, or so you might be excused for thinking, modern Hebrew borrows abba and ima ("mother") from Aramaic!

Books on Aramaic

Here are more books to help you learn, or learn about, Aramaic. Many of them are for serious scholars of Aramaic texts.

aramaic

A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner

Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Yerushalmi, and Midrashic Literature

aramaic

Student's Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic

aramaic

The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Unabridged 2-Volume Study Edition)

aramaic

Aramaic Made EZ

aramaic

A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic: The Dialect of the Jews of Arbel

aramaic

Ritual Practices to Gain Power: Angels, Incantations, and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism

aramaic

Grammar of Palestinian Jewish Aramaic

aramaic

A Key-Word-In-Context Concordance to Targum Neofiti: A Guide to the Complete Palestinian Aramaic Text of the Torah

aramaic

Qumran and Apocalyptic: Studies on the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

aramaic

Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek Documentary Texts from Nahal Hever and Other Sites: With an Appendix Containing Alleged Qumran Texts

aramaic

A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic of the Byzantine Period (Publications of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project)

aramaic

Literature of Formative Judaism: The Targumim and Other Jewish Writings in Late Antiquity (Origins of Judaism, Vol. 12)

aramaic

A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods (Publications of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project)

aramaic

A Manual of Babylonian Jewish Aramaic

aramaic

Studies in Targum Jonathan to the Prophets

aramaic

Grammar of Palestinian Jewish Aramaic

aramaic

Targum Studies, Volume One

aramaic

The Targum of Judges

aramaic

Classical Aramaic: Book 1

aramaic

A Grammar of Egyptian Aramaic

aramaic

The Elephantine Papyri in English: Three Millennia of Cross-Cultural Continuity and Change

aramaic

Al Kanfei Yonah: Collected Studies of Jonas C. Greenfield on Semitic Philology

aramaic

Studies in the Aramaic legal papyri from Elephantine

aramaic

Studia Aramaica: New Sources and New Approaches

Can't find it here? Try a search on Amazon: Aramaic


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