חתן תורה

Thursday, October 12th, 2006 07:51 am
lethargic_man: (linguistics geekery)
[personal profile] lethargic_man
Ooh, this is fascinating: apparently originally the term was not חתן תורה (Ḥāthān Torāh), the bridegroom of the Law, but חתם תורה (Ḥāthām Torāh), the sealer of the Law.

This ties in the mutation of ־ם to ־ן in Mishnaic Hebrew, and later scribes switching it back except in plural endings: if people hadn't realised this was such a mutation, it would result in the above change of meaning.

(Also, a note from elsewhere: I read that some of the earliest שמחת תורה piyyutim are clearly meant to accompany a spring festival; and that these would have been used in the three and a half year cycle when the Torah reading was completed in the spring.

Date: 2006-10-12 07:52 am (UTC)
ext_60086: (Default)
From: [identity profile] troo.livejournal.com
You know, I wouldn't have translated Torah as "Law"?
Maybe it is just me?

Date: 2006-10-12 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethargic-man.livejournal.com
You have the Israeli perspective; you come to words afresh, un-burdened down by the tradition of hundreds of years of conventional mistranslation. ;^)

(The flip side is you also come to words from the sometimes inaccurate perspective of the modern language...)

Date: 2006-10-12 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ploni-bat-ploni.livejournal.com
This is interesting. The Sealing of Torah bears a whole lot of different connotations that The Groom of Torah. I guess it's like Kiddushim and Kiddushin.

I wonder what other interpretive consequences of switching these letters will have, in other scriptural or liturgical examples.

Date: 2006-10-12 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curious-reader.livejournal.com
So you are not getting married to the Torah [livejournal.com profile] lethargic_man. I did not know the real meaning either.

Date: 2006-10-12 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hatam-soferet.livejournal.com
That is AWESOME!!!

Date: 2006-10-15 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snjstar.livejournal.com
Mazel Tov!

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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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