Aramaic: A Language For All People


Aramaic:  A Language For All People

It started out as the language of administration in the ancient Persian Empire, and the most widespread Semitic language in the Middle East, until the advent of Arabic.  It is the language the Talmud was written in, and a language of liturgy for Judaism and Maronite Christianity.  It is a vernacular for Kurdistani Jews and Assyrian Orthodox living on the corridor from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.  It was the language of Jesus Christ, and when you say the individual letters, they are exactly the same as you say them in Hebrew.  Shlama to the World of Aramaic.

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Comment by Irit Hakim-Keller on September 1, 2012 at 12:31pm

Aramaic is indeed the Mother of the Semitic languages. It is very nice to find similar words at the Arabic lessons I am taking nowadays. 

re Kol Nidre - it is not the only Jewish prayer said in Aramaic. Even the Ktuba ( jewish marriage contract) is written in Aramaic)

re Jesus name in Aramaic Yeshua, the same word in Hebrew - ישועה-  it means 'salvation'

re God -  Alaha in Aramaic - it is  Elohim in Hebrew.

Fascination, isn't it ?

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 7:14am

When a Maronite Christian dies, an Incense Prayer is done in Aramaic.  Frankincense and myrrh are burnt to accompany their soul to Heaven.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 6:52am

In Arabic, Allah means "The God."  In Aramaic it is Alaha.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 6:27am

Jesus native language was Aramaic.  But Jesus is the Greek pronunciation of his name.  His name in Aramaic was Yeshua, or what we recognize today as Joshua.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 6:05am

The Maronite Church will do the Lord Prayer in Aramaic.  Which goes back to the days, that it was the most widespread Semitic language spoken in the Middle East.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 5:52am
Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 5:45am

Kol Nidre is perhaps the best known song in Aramaic.  It is sung for Yom Kippur.  The age of the lyrics and melody are unknown.  But it has been around since the Geonic Period from 589 to 1038 C.E.  The actually meaning of the words Kol Nidre are not precisely known, but the closest translation is that it means "Attend All Vows."

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 5:38am

My personal favorite rendition of Kol Nidre, is performed by operatic tenor, Jan Peerce.  Because of the stirring emotion he put into the song.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 5:34am

When Al Jolson did "The Jazz Singer" in 1927, it was hailed as the first talking motion picture.  But actually the only sound in the film, is Al Jolson singing.  But singing an excellent version of Kol Nidre.

Comment by Tim Upham on August 30, 2012 at 5:30am

Johnny Mathis, a black American singer, offers his stirring rendition of Kol Nidre.  In Aramaic, a language for all people.


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