[Avodah] kesher

Micha Berger via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 8 08:04:24 PDT 2015

On Tue, Jul 07, 2015 at 08:01:24PM -0400, via Avodah wrote:
: In Edward Horowitz's fascinating and entertaining book, "How the Hebrew  
: Language Grew," he has a chapter on how sounds made in the same part of the  
: mouth sometimes interchange to form words with similar or closely related  
: meanings...

Also in RSRH's fascinating and entertaining commentary on the Pentateuch
and a couple of places in CW and elsewhere.

: Another example of these interconnected words (this one I've also seen  in 
: the Hirsch commentary on Chumash)...

See https://books.google.com/books?id=eVAAfn6Itb4C
(The real one; the google preview skips all of your examples.)

    Etymological Dictionary of Biblcal Hebrew:
    Based on the Commentaries of Samson Raphael Hirsch
    by Matityahu Clark

This is a central part of RSRH's exegesis.

I once went through much of Bereishis and Shemos documenting which letters
RSRH considers related enough to qualify as likely to be part of the
same phonetic meta-root. I ended up with the following chart (readable
only in fixed-width-font, eg Courier):

  geroniot    velar            dental dento-lingual  labial
    h,ch        q       |       s,sh    tes     |
    alef        k       |       tz      tav     |       b
    ayin        g       |       z       d       |       p
                                        n ------------- m
    r --------------------------------- l
                y ------------------------------------- v

Letters in the same column are phonetically related (eg hei and aleg)

Vertical lines separate into pairs (eg zayin and dalet, but not
dalet and pei nor tzadi and dalet [paired coumns, different rows]).
The pairs are lingual/velar (use tongue) vs not.

Horizontal lines connect the nasals (mem and nun), the approximants
(lamd and reish) and the semivowels (yud and vav).

The unvoiced letters are all in the top two rows.

Notice how hei-ches and shin/sin-samech fall into parallel positions,
and bege"d kefe"t into the same two rows.

I stopped my analysis when I had gone dozens of peraqim without
needing to change the chart any. Lost interest.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
micha at aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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