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There are many different ways of pronouncing Hebrew words. It seems that most people want to standardize on the Sefardi pronunciation. There is a reason not to use that pronunciation and that is because most of the people using it are really ashkenazim and they switched to a sefardi pronunciation for reasons that were not necessarily in accordance with Halacha.

Yet, this dialect is now the most commonly used, and most outside readers will get increasingly confused if multiple spellings are given. Also, many people will pray in an older dialect while using "Israeli" pronunciation in daily parlance for ease of understanding. I vote to retain the status quo, and certainly to not start making long lists of dialectical alternatives. JFW | T@lk 20:19, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The spelling is also not what most Jews would use, but seems to have been pushed towards some sort of quasi-scholarly spelling, in particular in the use of "kh" for "chaf" and "h" for "chet". This too is abandoned in a pinch; see for example the article on what Jews would term the "Shulchan Aruch", as you yourself have pointed out. What should the standard be? Jayjg 17:45, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Mesorah Publications had the encountered the same dilemna, and decided to use a mixture, IIRC. --Josiah 02:09, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes. I've read about it in one of their introductions. I would like their rendering to be the default. --Ezra Wax 17:22, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I must disagree with Ezra Wax! The Artscroll and Mesorah Publications form of pronunciation is horrible; they have been pushing this confusing hybrid for 30 years, and it has been overwhelmingly rejected by the rest of the Jewish community. Scholars of Judaism do not use this form of transliteration; neither do most other Orthodox Jews, neither do any non-Orthodox Jews. We should generally use the Sephardic transliteration, as this is what most Hebrew speakers use. Even ultra-Orthodox Jews who normally use the Ashkenazi pronunciation while praying can and do switch to the more commonly used Sephardi pronunciation on other occasions. RK 21:42, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure if you think only "ultra-Orthodox" Jews use Ashkenazi pronunciations, but that idea is nowhere near reality. And I must point out again, Modern Israeli and Sephardi are different pronunciations. Jayjg 07:04, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • I agree with RK in this regard. The ArtScroll is too much of a "mishgabibel" especially now with their interliniar transliterations driving people crazy. I vote we stick with "standard" Israeli Hebrew as it is basically the spoken language of close to half the world's Jews, even the Charedim in Israel speak Israeli (and NOT "Ashkenazi" Hebrew). What people do when they pray, whether they confuse themselves with Artscroll, mumble in English, fly in Ashkenazik, Sefardik or Chasidik is a personal matter relating to worship and has nothing to do with Hebrew as a SPOKEN and written i.e. LIVING language today. Your avergae (Jewish) person wants to know Israeli Hebrew and not be confused with other variants. So let's not add to that confusion on Wikipedia. IZAK 07:08, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • I'm just saying that if people, as a whole, can't agree to go with Artscroll's mess. Personally, I'd say sephardic also.--Josiah 06:11, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • At this point in time User Gilgamesh and User Mustafaa are on a spree creating massive havoc as they have undertaken to edit any Hebrew/Jewish/Israeli article and insert (at least) four varieties of "Hebrew", often including "Tiberian", "Yemenite", with "Ashkenazi", and anything else they can squeeze in. Why does Hebrew suffer from this on Wikipedia? Does, say, every article in English start of with the "American", "British", "Australian", ad nauseum way of pronouncing words??? Is Wikipedia the place for emphasis on phonetics, accents, pronounciations etc of words??? They should be encouraged to stop before they cause immense chaos and confusion. They even attempted to down-grade modern Israeli (Sephardic) Hebrew (spoken by almost half of world Jewry today), as just another "POV" brand of Hebrew no different to mysterious and defunct "Moabite, Edomite and Ammonite". This is what you call "chutzpah". IZAK 15:33, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I find what they are doing to be quite odd. However, I must point out that modern Israeli Hebrew is not Sepharadi. Jayjg 17:06, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Ok then, be pedantic, it's "sorta Sefardi" then, my point is that its "Baruch" for example, is closer to Sefardi than the Chasidik "Booreech" or Ashkenazi "Bawrooch". But I do not mean to be pedantic. I will tell you what they are up to: They are "shechting" the "Lashon HaKodesh" and making it into "Hebrew" alphabet "fruit soup" of no use to anyone really, and thereby stop the inroads of standard Israeli Hebrew as a common user-friendly Hebrew language. IZAK 17:14, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Actually, on the request of Jdfwolff (on the issue of page style) and Jallan (on the issue of scientific transliteration), I went through hundreds of pages I had previously edited for Hebrew linguistics, and in nearly all cases eliminated all but two transliterations: Tiberian Hebrew and Standard Hebrew. Jallan had issue to exact scientific transliterations, so I started using scientific Unicode standards for both. Additional entries for Samaritan Hebrew, Arabic and Septuagint Greek are only added if the topic is relevant to Samaritans, Arabs, Muslims, Christian scholars, etc. The most affected article by far is List of Hebrew names — it has been given a magnificent overhaul in these regards. No more millions of alternate spellings unless they represent true variants with true phonemic differences in the same language. I've only done my best to respect and accommodate every POV on this very complex subject. I have already long since restored Standard Hebrew to the Hebrew language article. But the truth of the matter is, although Hebrew need not be presented as an unending soup in the articles, it is a soup in real life, and historically. And trailing off to categories and other articles, every flavor of soup has the right to be represented in parity with other flavors. - Gilgamesh 23:42, 14 July 2004 (UTC)
Gilgamesh, I'm personally very happy with the present arrangement. There is, indeed, a very big Shabbos chicken soup of Hebrew dialects, and I feel we should settle for an "Israeli Modern Hebrew" transcription, augmented by Tiberian Hebrew if you feel this adds anything.
As for other transcriptions, as long as Shabbos, Shabbes and Shabbas redirect to Shabbat there is no real problem at all. The vast majority of readers will not expect to see their dialect represented.
I'm a Dutch Ashkenazi, and (as I told you before) I use a dialect that is a hybrid between Western Ashkenazi and Portugese Hebrew. The word Olam (world) becomes [Ngaulom]. Yet it is - IMHO - completely irrelevant to have a fringe dialect represented here. JFW | T@lk 17:30, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
My question is, why "Tiberian Hebrew" relevant? Who speaks this language, or uses it in any meaningful way? Jayjg 17:35, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It's relevant to linguistic scholars and historians. Tiberian Hebrew is an especially important historical linguistic study because the vast majority of Hebrew liturgical dialects (including the Sephardic dialect from which Standard Hebrew arose) evolved from the standardized form of Hebrew drafted at Tiberias in the 8th century C.E. It's also been a basis from which the Hebrew Bible has been translated into various other languages, particularly during the Reformation when some Christians lost faith in the Latin Vulgate Bible, and questioned the wisdom of depending on a translation of a translation of a translation at all when they could use the original. Hebrew has a great many students of history as well, as it has been one of the single most influential languages shaping Jewry and Christendom, and both Western Civilization and Islamic Civilization. And Hebrew studies — while I think they deserve to be and will always be a part of Jewish study — will also always be a part of non-Jewish study of linguistics, history, culture and theology. As such, everyone in Abrahamic religion has a stake in Hebrew linguistic scholarship, whether it be practicing Jews like the respected company here, or Christians like me, or Muslims like Mustafaa, or even the Druze or the Baha'i. It's something we can all share, together. :) - Gilgamesh 22:44, 15 July 2004 (UTC)
But why is the pronunciation of various words )(e.g. Kabbalah) relevant in "Tiberian Hebrew", particularly as those words might not have ever even been used in "Tiberian Hebrew"? Jayjg 05:46, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
One important thing I forgot to mention - Tiberian Hebrew is the oldest standard of Hebrew to have its vowels and consonants completely distinguished and standardized. It is of significant importance to linguistic study and comparative Canaanite linguistics and Semitic linguistics as a whole. Hebrew isn't the monopoly of a single religious group or ethnicity. It belongs to everyone. This really has nothing to do with how Hebrew is used in Judaism nor Jewry. Wikipedia is a place of dispassionate secular science without endorsement of a single culture nor religion. And I am here as a scientist in the field of linguistics. - Gilgamesh 06:17 July 2004 (UTC)
Um, ok, but could you please answer my question now? Is it your intention to insert into Wikipedia articles the "Tiberian Hebrew" pronunciation for words which never existed in "Tiberian Hebrew" to begin with? Jayjg 06:54, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Ohhhhhh, I misunderstood the question. Well, I suppose it doesn't have anything to do with Tiberian Hebrew, except perhaps that Tiberian represents the origin of the liturgical dialects. The relevant question here would be, did non-Sephardi Qabbalists pronounce the word in Sephardic Hebrew or in their own dialects? For example, did any Ashkenazim pronounce it Kabboloh? If the answer is no, then I suppose Tiberian is not relevant to that issue. But if the answer is yes, then Tiberian would be a good older phonemic representation of Hebrew that unites the etymological differences between the dialects, which are, afterall, dialects of Tiberian Hebrew. Jdfwolff told me, afterall, that there are simply too many dialects to represent them all, so representing the keystone standard and the modern standard at the same time seems like an equitable compromise. - Gilgamesh 07:06, 16 July 2004 (UTC)
Regarding using a "keystone" standard, you seem to be saying that because Ashkenazi Jews pronounce it Kabboloh and Sepharadi Jews pronounce it Qabala that we therefore need to present instead its "Tiberian Hebrew" pronunciation, even though the word might never have been used in "Tiberian Hebrew", and indeed the language (and in particular its pronunciation) is only a linguistic hypothesis to begin with. I recognize that there are a large number of Hebrew accents/dialects, but there are only 4 or 5 in common use today, and of those 1 or perhaps 2 are dominant in everyday usage. To say that we cannot present the dominant, or even common Hebrew pronunciations of words, but instead must present a hypothetical construct which no-one in real life uses, and which may never have been used, seems, at best, to be absurd to me. Jayjg 07:15, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Well, I don't disagree, Jayjg. I did try to include several dialects before, but Jdfwolff as an administrator admonished me not to. I trimmed it down to just two, and he told me it was acceptable to his recommended conventions. I guess we need to strike a bargain between detail and formatting, and Jdfwolff is okay with this, and so am I. Besides, merely the exact IPA pronunciation of Tiberian is subject to guessing; its phonemes are well-documented and not a source of conjecture in this case. That's why there's such a well-established scientific transliteration for the Tiberian form. This standard transliteration is provided in academic textbooks for scholarly Biblical Hebrew study, at least in universities. So, the main purpose of Tiberian Hebrew is not a description of pronunciation, but of phonemic detail. It has five clear short vowels and seven clear long vowels, and a separate transliterative form for every Hebrew consonant, including sāmeḵ and śîn. It is an elegant approach to presenting the phonemes of Hebrew words in the most detailed way available to scholars. Gilgamesh 7:49, 16 July 2004 (UTC)

I'm fine with just two, but "Tiberian Hebrew" simply doesn't make sense for most of these articles; in fact, it's a bizarre anachronism to write the "Tiberian Hebrew" pronunciations of words and concepts that were never spoken in "Tiberian Hebrew". Modern Israeli and Ashkenazi are the two most widely used dialects today; Sepharadi Hebrew is usually quite close to Modern Israeli, but where it differs from Modern Israeli it could be included as well. "Tiberian Hebrew" might be relevant for articles dealing with subjects upon which "Tiberian Jews" had something to say, but it doesn't belong anywhere else. And, to be frank, "Tiberian Hebrew" is in reality a dialect invented and used by a few hundred academics, and is not "mainstream" in any meaningful sense. It doesn't really belong anywhere except those academic publications, but regardless, in no articles does it make sense for "Tiberian Hebrew" to come first. Jayjg 15:23, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Well, alright. You bring up one good point: Maybe Tiberian should come second after the modern Standard. That'll be easy work for me. I'll swap their positions immediately. But my point for Tiberian Hebrew remains. :) - Gilgamesh 22:53, 16 July 2004 (UTC)

As for fonts and white boxes that we've been seeing around lately, that's actual a separate issue dealing with a separate POV debate still going on over the forced use of specific fonts in Wikipedia's CSS. It's received many complaints precisely for the reason that it makes many Unicode characters undisplayable for normal visitors using Internet Explorer. I for one, when providing academic detail, consider this not to be my problem, and I continue to use mandated Unicode characters when it is the standard for an orthography. (Jallan threatened POV dispute if I didn't adhere to this. :P) Since it appears that popular opinion over the style sheets issue is resoundingly against forcing specific typefaces, I hope simply that common sense will prevail and that Wikipedia's style designers will yield control back to individual web browsers. I'm not going to compromise the Unicode. - Gilgamesh 7:49, 16 July 2004 (UTC)

  • Gilgamesh: With all due respect, I think you are holding up or inserting the proverbial "red herring" by latching on to this "Tiberian Hebrew" gobbledigook, and thereby in effect sowing confusion and sadly NOT creating enlightenment. No-one but you and some obscure pedantic liguists know and care about the existence of "Tiberian" Hebrew, and we don't need it spreading itself like measles onto the faces of all Wikipedia articles with Hebrew words. I agree with User Jayjg, it is COMPLETELY UNnecessary to insert a reference to "Tiberian" Hebrew every time a Wikipedia article has Hebrew words in its introductions. To what lengths will this go... will an article on the Israel Defence Forces or the name of Ariel Sharon be subjected to Gilgamesh's obsession with pasting in "Tiberian" Hebrew? What a joke that will be and make Wikipedia look plain idiotic as no Israeli and modern Hebrew speakers, who just happen to account for close to half of present-day world Jewry, would take it seriously. (Unless of course Gilgamesh is on a "crusade" to re-indoctrinate the Jews with far-fetched theories that mean nothing in practical terms to Jews or anyone else.) In any case, the whole notion of having a few Hebrew words SPRINKLED into an ENGLISH language article is to give it some authenticity and relevancy which is best done by following the "KISS" ("Keep It Simple Stupid" ) rule, especially when Hebrew is an alien language to planet Earth's six billion inhabitants. So let's get rid of Gilgamesh's pedantic insertions and intrusions into the area of Hebraica on Wikipedia (his fonts are also messy and don't work a lot of the time, leaving gaps in words), unless they are within normal bounds of PRESENT-DAY modern Israeli Hebrew usage. If anything, it would make more sense to insert references to the still widely used (in prayers and Torah and Talmud learning) Ashkenazic Hebrew, but that too would be much too confusing were it to be done en masse if plastered and pasted every time a Hebrew word pops up in Wikipedia. So let's get a handle on this soon, before the mess will be too big to clean up quickly. IZAK 04:49, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • IZAK, if you're going to disagree with him, fine. I don't see a need for Tiberian either. But QUIT THE AD HOMINEM ATTACKS.--Josiah 06:16, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
      • I know I am really behind and that this is an archieve, but I want to point out something that I pointed out in another talk page. There was a Takonoh, a decree, from Chossidic Rebbes in E. Yisroel, The land of Israel, That said "Anyone who changes they're Havoroh, they're pronounciation of Loshon Kodesh, Borders on Apikorsus, on heresey. I propose that The transliteration of hebrew be by whichever Nusach The editor is. For me as a mix of Nusachim, I follow my Father's. My Father is Ashkenazic, so I follow The Ashkenazic havoroh. --Shaul avrom 16:40, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

For article on Hebrew name User Gilgamesh and User Mustafaa are having a ball tearing up the turf. Using fonts and systems that just come up as "little boxes". It's a case of a "little knowledge is a dangerous thing" as they "decide" on their own the meanings of Hebrew language words from the Torah and Tanakh sometimes using little more than guess-work. IZAK 16:51, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Outline of articles

Most articles seem to have the following parts:

  • Introduction
    • Various synonyms of the title of the article
    • Domain of the term i.e. In Judaism ...
    • Short definition of term
  • History
    • Ancient History
    • Recent History
    • Current Practice
  • Treat according to denomination
    • Orthodox
    • Conservative
    • Reform
    • Other

Problems with this outline: Treatment according to history tends to emphasize that current practice is different than present practice. This emphasis tends to be an effort to promote the idea that laws change and therefore more conservative viewpoints are too conservative.

No, it doesn't promote the idea that more conservative ideas are too conservative. That is your interpretation of the facts. All it does is prove that history exists. Some Ultra-Orthodox Jews, however, wish to replace the historical point of view with their distorted view of Jewish history, one in which Abraha, wore a kipa, and Cain and Abel studied in a yeshiva. Wikipedia's NPOV policy demands that we study a religion's development in its historical context, which shows us that all religions and develop and change over time. Anyone who denies the existence of such change is probably so ignorant as to be useless to our project, and so biased as to be unable to conform to NPOV requirements. RK
On the other hand, it confirms the historicity of certain laws and customs when these are continued into daily practice. For example, mikvah mentions that "Orthodox Jews still use a mikvah". Etc. JFW | T@lk
Saying that "Orthodox Jews still use a mikvah" is problematic. Better would be to say, "Unfortunately many Jews have abandoned halacha and have stopped using a mikva."
Perhaps "While Orthodox Jews still use a mikvah, many Jews due to to laxity in observance, or rebellion against rabbinical authority, have ceased to do so." --Ezra Wax 17:29, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
"Unfortunately"? "Abandoned"? It is highly unlikely that these amazingly POV and normative words would last long on Wikipedia. Jayjg 02:57, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Jayjg. It is also a serious violation of Wikipedia NPOV policy to promote any religions practices or beliefs. However, we can write that According to Orthodox and most Conservative rabbis it is unfortunate that many Jews have abandoned halacha and have stopped using the mikvah. Such a statement is in accord with the Wikipedia NPOV policy. RK

Treatment according to denomination emphasizes that there are denominations and legitimizes them. This tends to be contrary to the view that denominations are mostly irrelevant and that there are those who are more particular about observance and those who are less so.

Yet, apart from Orthodoxy, the denominations seem to be quite comfortable in this split. Recognising the existance of these movements and their policies is troublesome from an Orthodox POV, but for the purposes of Wikipedia it seems to be the only tenable solution. JFW | T@lk
The point is that Orthodoxy is not a movement in the sense that it moved away from what was before. It was using established principles to react to a changing situation. As such it is not a movement. The other denominations might be movements, but they are not Judaism. The point is that the non-Orthodox want to legitimize themselves by calling themselves denominations.
See this is the problem. I totally disagree. Many historians have proved that Orthodox Judaism is a movement, and that it has moved away from what was once before. I can provide numerous references. It would be more accurate to say that Most Orthodox Jews believe that their beliefs and practices are the same as the beliefs and practices of previous generations, while some Orthodox Jews and most non-Orthodox Jews believe that even Orthodoxy has changed significantly in the last 200 years. RK 13:45, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
2 points to consider 1)On the opposite perspective, one could say that Orthodoxy wants to legitimize itself by saying that the Non-Orthodox are not denominations. 2) When some of the early Reform Jews classified themselves as "of Mosaic Persuasion" or "the religion of Moses", they were criticized even more for abandoning the use of "Judaism". 3) The entire issue of whether or not denominations are, or are not, legitimate is a theological one. I suggest the issue be dropped, since Wikipedia is not a place to debate theology. --Josiah 01:53, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The non-Orthodox movements would, in fact, state categorically that Orthodoxy today has indeed moved away from what it was before. I doubt you'll get any agreement on this outside of the Orthodox world. Jayjg 19:56, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)