So, now it is time to announce an upcoming worshop on Galilean Aramaic in March as well as start finding what times work for both in-person and online Galilean Aramaic classes. Polls for the classes are below.
Galilean Aramaic: Speaking The Language of Christ
Registration is $50 (and waivers will be available for those in need) and it’s happening on March 28th, 2015 from 1PM to 4PM. It’s a condensed 3 hour workshop which goes over history, the basics of reading, writing, and speaking and some storytelling and conversation. The fee also covers printed learning materials.
Registration will be $100 (waivers also available). It will meet one hour, twice a week for four weeks (8 sessions total) at Christ Church New Brunswick and will cover introductory conversational (spoken) material, reading, writing, memorization, and recitation. Each student will keep a S’far Da‘watha (“Book of Knowledge” or “Book of Opinions,” a journal of one’s work and inspirations) in which to keep their notes and musings.
If it is well received, this class will become the first step towards a certificate program that will award, to accomplished students who pass written and oral exams, the title Talmid Leshana (“Student of the Language”).
The following poll will be used to help schedule the class.
Presently the lesson is complete for numbers between 1 and 100, and — where the slides are up — I’m putting the final edits on the audio for how numbers up to and beyond 10,000 work as well as the final part which goes over Aramaic numerical notation for both numerals ( = 1,234) and gematria ( = 1,234).
No, this isn’t some epic battle or what not, but more a brilliant metaphor for what can be seen when one looks at the New Testament through Aramaic eyes.
When one recites Shakespeare in its original accent, there are puns and wordplay that leap off the page that are simply not there in modern language. In the same manner, when one looks at the words of Jesus and his early followers in Aramaic, one sees things that they cannot even fathom in Greek or English.
Note to self: If I’m ever in London, I need to check out one of the Globe performances in OP. 🙂
ISIS cannot, no matter how hard it tries, eliminate Aramaic. Aramaic is not a single language, but an entire family of languages. Sadly, the dialect spoken by Jesus is already dead. (Well, outside what I speak with my kids in reconstruction, but that doesn’t make it “living” by any means.) It died as a living language in the 6th and 7th centuries with Arab Conquest.
However, ISIS can certainly extinguish a few of the smaller Neo-Aramaic dialects if they strive to, which in some cases consist of a single surviving village — and let me not be equivocal about this: That is a serious problem.
Most Neo-Aramaic languages are severely endangered as it is and in the past 100 years we’ve seen dozens die due to violence (like this) or simply migration and adoption of another language (most Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects have been lost due to immigration to Israel and the adoption of Modern Hebrew). These language are certainly related (the dialect in Ma’loula the closest by lineage) but none of these are the language Jesus actually spoke.
Syriac Aramaic is the language of the liturgy of the Syriac Church (Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic, Assyrian, etc.) and recited every Sunday. That’s not going anywhere. Jewish Literary Aramaic is used in the Jewish liturgy nearly every Sabbath, and that’s not going anywhere either. There are Aramaic-speaking diasporas all over the place. Aramaic is global, and ISIS is not.