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"And As If..."

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, March 7, 1999, 0:45
in my Hebrew class we happen to be studying this year primarily Medieval
Spaniard Islamic-Period poetry, and right now we're stuck in the middle
of R' Yehuda haLeivi's "Hatirdof Na`arut Ahhar Hhamishim" ("shall you
persue youth after fifty").

Most of the poems, both secular and liturgical (piyutim) that we've
learned don't really have titles, they're just referred to by the first
half of the first verse.  But i guess this one actually was named this,
because it also has a subtitle below it, which is in
Hebrew-transliterated Arabic.

The secondary title goes:
{vlh py albHr ayS'a}, where {a} = alef, {H} = hhet, and {S'} = tzadi with
an apostraphe.
According to how my teacher read it (she speaks Arabic also), it seems to
be pronounced something like:
[wla fi ?al'baHr '?itSa]

I know that an apostraphe'd tzadi in modern Hebrew is used to represent a
[tS], but i tried to learn Arabic from a "teach yourself" book last year,
and i don't remember any /tS/ sound.  Maybe there was/is one in Iberian
Arabic (if there was/is such a thing) or in whichever dialect my teacher
(or the guy who compiled the poems for the book) speaks, i don't know.

The subtitle is followed by, in parentheses, a Hebrew translation, _vlu
`al odot hayam `od_, which means more or less, "and as if more about the

I liked the word [?al'baHr] so much that i adapted it into Rokbeigalmki
as _ba:hhihr_, "Ocean".
But does anyone know about this, especially that seemingly out-of-place
[tS] sound?


-Stephen (Steg)

PS- i don't have the booklet with me when i'm writing this, so i may have
misremembered a letter or two in the subtitle or it's translation

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