Evidently, Jesus, the Christian founder, spoke Aramaic in his day. This is why Christians have taken an interest in the ancient language. The Pope came and visited with Netanyahu and mentioned Aramaic, not giving into the fact that people continued using Hebrew as well. Hebrew was revived and used again after 1880 with the waves of Jews coming into "Palestine" in what was called aliyahs from Russian territories who had suffered from pogroms. Now it's the language of Israel once again.
|Yeshua (Jesus) in Aramaic|
The letters, read from right to left, look like Hebrew to me and
would be: Yud, Shin, Vuv, Ayin. I would call this old Hebrew.
Even I can read it as Hebrew.
|The Hebrew letter A (Aleph) through the ages|
|Hebrew, Arabic and English sign|
Hebrew pronunciation: Ya-roosh-al-eye-eem
Life regained itself, however, from the Romans who caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the siege of Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country, along with the many thousands more who were sold into slavery. Jews and Judaism survived Rome by making adjustments. Instead of the Temple that they burned to the ground, Jews created synagogues in places they had been taken. The Sanhedrin wass reconvened in Yavneh in 70 CE and later in Tiberias. There was a small remaining Jewish community that gradually recovered and grew with returning exiles. Rabbis and the synagogue became the focus of Jewish settlement. Many remnants of synagogues have been found at Capernaum, Korazin, Bar'am, Gamla and other places. It was our Halakhah, the Jewish religious law, that served as the common bond among the Jews and was passed on from generation to generation with our Hebrew writings and our oral laws. .
Biblical readings had to be translated from the Hebrew to Aramaic in the synagogues for the benefit of congregants who didn't understand Hebrew anymore. It persisted as a literary tongue for a long time and was the language of the Zohar and of later kabbalistic poetry.
This Aramaic is looked upon as intermediate Western Aramaic which was the language of the Palestinian Talmud. We have 2 Talmuds; the Palestinian written there, and the Babylonian Talmud, written when Jews had to live in Babylonia. The Aggadic Midrashim, Targum Jonathan and the Samaritan translation of the Pentateuch and the eastern Aramaic was included in this grouping.
|The Torah, the 5 Books of Moses,|
All in Hebrew
Jews who have settled in Israel since 1948 that came from the Kurdish districts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Persia (Iran) and Russia still spoke new Aramaic as the Nestorian Christians there did also.
Formal literary dialects of Aramaic based on Hasmonean and Babylonian were followed by other dialects. and Western varieties were spoken in Judea in the time of Jesus. Old Judean Aramaic was the prominent dialect of Jerusalem and Judaea. The Ein Gedi region was the where you found the Southeat Judaean dialect. Samaria had its distinctive Samaritan Aramaic, where the consonants "he", "heth" and "ayin" all became pronounced as "aleph". The Galilean Aramaic where Jesus came from in the Gospel story is only known from a few place names, , and in Galilean Targumic, some rabbinic literature and a few private letters. It had a number of distinctive features; diphthongs that were never simplified into monophthongs. In the East of the Jordan, the various dialects of East Jordanian were spoken. Around Damascus, Syria and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, Damascene Aramaic was spoken. As far north as Aleppo, Syria, the western dialect of Orontes Aramaic was spoken. Note this was in Syria, which was then part of Israel.
|English read from left to right|
Hebrew read from right to left
it means "GOOD LUCK!"
No, Palestinians of today came from surrounding lands and were Muslims. In fact, the people hadn't followed Islam until Mohammad came along, born in 570 CE and died in 632 CE. It was the 3rd religion of the Middle East. It was those Russian Jews who came in the 1st to 5 aliyahs who attracted them since they figured they could get jobs in their building of towns in the late 1800s. . Their language was Arabic unless they were Christian Arabs and might have spoken an Aramaic dialect.
At the junior high in Safed where I taught English, the Arab students took Hebrew and the Jewish students took Arabic. The students would get together later and help each other with their homework. I don't think it was as hard for them since Arabic is also similar to Hebrew, and they all read from right to left.
Resource: The New Standard Jewish encyclopedia
Update 7/31/16 book: Hidden Gospel, by Neil Douglas-Klotz, on Aramaic, history, background, definitions, a Sufi with one parent Jewish, another not. Mostly covering the Aramaic in the 1st century BCE and CE. ; includes CDs on subject with chanting