Item description for An Introductory Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew by Miguel Perez Fernandez & John F. Elwolde...
In Greek and Roman Palestine we find a Hebrew dialect that had existed alongside the literary language of Biblical Hebrew but had followed its own pattern of development. After the destruction of the Temple, the rabbis elevated this dialect to the status of a literary language, "Rabbinic Hebrew", and employed it in the composition of the Mishnah, Tosefta, and halakhic midrashim. This volume is a practical grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew which incorporates the results of recent investigations in this field. Starting from a pedagogic perspective it contains vocabulary and exercises in every unit, and introduces readers to thinking of the Sages of Israel.
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More About Miguel Perez Fernandez & John F. Elwolde
Miguel Perez Fernandez, Ph.D. (1975) in Semitic Philology, Madrid, is Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature in the University of Granada. He is series editor of "Biblioteca Midrasica," in which series he has published translations, with commentaries, of "Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer" (Valencia, 1984), "Sifre" to Numbers (Valencia, 1989) and "Sifra" (Estella, 1997). John F. Elwolde Ph.D. (1988) in Linguistics, Hull, is an Associate Member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. His publications in the fields of Hebrew language and the Dead Sea Scrolls include translations of A. Saenz-Badillos's "A history of the Hebrew Language" (Cambridge, 1993) and M. Perez Fernandez's "An Introductory Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew" (Leiden, 1997)."
Reviews - What do customers think about An Introductory Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew?
Good for the student of the mishnah Mar 19, 2002
The only thing I can think to add to the previous review is that one does have to have a reasonable competence in Biblical (or perhaps Modern) Hebrew in order to use this book, tho' someone would be very unlikely to want to use it without first knowing biblical Hebrew. A copy of Segal's Mishnaic Hebrew grammar would be useful as a supplimentary reference, and a Biblical grammar too as this book is not strong on morphology. But syntax and idiom are very well handled and it is these that make the Mishnah so impenetrable.
As to the "reasonable price", sadly this volume in paperback is at a typically exhorbitant Brill price. And the hardback is ridiculously costly. Still, there IS a paperback, so Brill are moving in the right direction!
Only Book of Its Type Dec 9, 1999
I just read a review of this book that said it was the best book of its type. The truth is, that it is the ONLY book of its type. The only possible exception to that would be M. Segal's book from Oxford in 1927, but that book is out of date and was written only as a comprehensive reference grammar and not as a textbook.
On the other hand, this book, (which, incidently, was first published in Spanish in 1992) is an lesson-by-lesson textbook designed to introduce you to Rabbinic Hebrew (i. e. of the Mishnah, Tosefta, etc.) and its culture and literature. It provides practice passages for reading and other exercises. So, besides, being an excellent (and so far the only) update to Segal's reference grammar, it is (as far as I know) the only _textbook_ of Rabbinic Hebrew ever written. So, if you interested in this subject, you have little choice but to buy this book.
best in its class Dec 7, 1999
Simply the best grammar ever published for rabbinic hebrew -- now that it's available at a reasonable price in paperback, go for it!