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baqqa mqarqra
A Frog's-eye view

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Thursday, November 14, 2002

Hot on the trail of the dictionary of Jewish Neo-Aramaic from Kurdistan comes a momentous publication, Michael Sokoloff's Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods. This huge work was published in Israel ten days ago, and today I received my copy.

It's hard to exaggerate the breakthrough this dictionary represents. For the first time, we have before us an accurate dictionary, based on early manuscripts, that draws upon both ancient lexicographical sources and modern linguistic scholarship. The dictionary is a treasure of information on the language of the Babylonian Talmud, and I have already found dozens of entries that illucidate issues connected to the study of this language.

The book is selling on Amazon at $160, so it isn't cheap, but look around for special offers, and put out the money if you can afford it. Anyone with an interest in the Talmud won't regret it!

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