Divrei ben Abuya

In the Babylonian Talmud, Elisha ben Abuya was a great sage who lost his faith in God. So great was he that his and subsequent generations continued learning from him - to the extent that the authors of the Talmud needed to create a story that would serve to legitimise his teachings despite his apostasy. His lesson is a lesson for us all: that great stature is not contingent upon blind faith, nor high learning upon the observation of Torah precepts.

May 15, 2006

I'm finally starting to get some work done on my thesis, which is good. Accordance 6.9.1 arrived in the mail the other day and it's a fantastic program. At the push of a button, I'm able to conduct complex grammatical searches. A simple, but relevant, example: I searched for every instance of directive heh in the Bible and 1101 verses came up. Each verse is parsed for me (although some of the parsings are slightly dubious) and an impossible task has merely turned into a menial one! But I am enjoying it (which probably means that I'm a really boring person) and am presently cataloguing them all. My only real gripe is that it does not have the Peshitta - it would be amazing if it did!

Not much else to add, really. Another day at uni, another night preparing for the next day's classes. Tomorrow that will be Syriac and it's not too difficult to prepare for that. We're about to finish ch42 of Genesis in the Peshitta and then we'll be starting on something else - some example of Syriac patristic literature, I think. Oh well, I'm sure that my next post will be more exciting.


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