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Kosher Food in Neo-Aramaic

On H-Judaic there is a discussion about Kosher and Halal meat. The following comment by Yona Sabar was interesting.

The word kasher/kosher is not “universal”. Among the Neo-Aramaic speaking Jews of northern Iraq, the Arabic word, Halal with an Aramaic suffix, Halala, was used for “kasher”;and Harama for “unkasher”. Very “Kasher” meat was Halala ‘ikh pisir ghazala “As kosher as the meat of Gazelle”. The word kasher was used more for proper marital relations, as in ‘ishsha kashera “lawful wife”.

9 Responses to “Kosher Food in Neo-Aramaic”

  1. 1

    why gazelle? a haya, not a beheima?

  2. 2

    At the risk of sounding like a yeshivishe brat complaining about Judaic Studies professors, wow, some of the stuff being said on that thread is embarassingly ignorant of even a minimal knowledge of halacha.

    “It is important to recognize that Rabbinic opposition to halal meat is also politically motivated even as it too is couched in technical and theological language, namely what words the butcher must recite and what beliefs he or she must hold.”

  3. 3
    Mordechai Y. Scher:

    S. was polite. The comments there commonly reveal abject ignorance of halacha. Do these people actually teach about Judaism; or are they just people who like to talk about it? It is very scary to think that they may be spreading and furthering their ignorance in the classroom.

  4. 4

    S. I felt it too, and wanted to respons, but i couldn’t figure out how. However, there are interesting questions there. Shochtim wanted to sell their neveilas to muslims who would only approve them if la ilaha illi allah was recited before the slaughter. the poskim discuss whether this is considered a hefsek for us.
    I have a theory about the gazelle.

  5. 5
    Mar Gavriel:

    The comments there commonly reveal abject ignorance of halacha.

    Yes, I noticed that thread. (On other H-Judaic thread, people reveal abject ignorance of all sorts of other subjects as well. It’s like watching a train wreck.)

    I have a theory about the gazelle.

    Something related to Yehuda Liebes’s article about the תרין עורזילאין דאיילתא?

  6. 6
    Mar Gavriel:

    “The spellings עורזילין and אורזילאין vary in the sources, and other variants occur, as well (such as עילזין). The word is etymologically related to the Arabic ghazāl, meaning “gazelle”; indeed, the European languages get the word gazella or gazelle from this Arabic word. In Midrash Ha-ne‘elam on Ruth, we find the form גוזלתא דאילתא; this is certainly a back-influence from the European form of the word, with influence also from the Hebrew word גוזל (“baby bird”). I have found this from (twice) in Midrash Ha-ne‘elam on Ruth, ed. Venice 1566 (facsimile edition Jerusalem 1992), 6a. In other printings, the phrase has been hyper-corrected to אוזילא דאילתא (see, e.g. Zohar Ḥadash, ed. Mosad Ha-rav Kook, folio 76 column d). The form גוזלין דאיילתא appears also in the version of our story found on folio 27b of MS Morton College, an old manuscript of the Zohar, to which Prof. Michal Oron has allowed me access.”

  7. 7

    well, i guess it’s related in a way. just like the words ‘halal’ and ‘gazelle’ were imported into jewish neo-aramaic from arabic, so too it seems to me was the whole phrase. acc to muslim dietary laws explicit in the quran, there is special leniency for hunting, and hence the meat of wild animals such as the gazelle is more ‘halal.’

  8. 8
    Mar Gavriel:

    Interesting. Of course, in Judaism there’s also special leniency, namely, that we can eat the ḥelev of the gazelle.

  9. 9

    good point. in that case it’s because domestic kosher meat would have a ‘hashash’ concern that the helev wasn’t all removed, which gazelle would be clear of. i don’t know enough about our neo-aramaic hevre to know if this is their kind of lomdus, but theoretically it could be. acc to islamic law the wild gazelle meat itself could be considered halal in some cases even if the schita was not the cause of death or if the animal was already mortally wounded.




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