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A Book on Samaritanism and Mandaeism

Haseeb Shehadeh
Haseeb.Shehadeh@Helsinki.Fi
2013 / 2 / 21



Rainer Voigt, hrsg. /ed. Und das Leben ist siegreich!: mandäische und samaritanische Literatur. Im Gedenken an Rudolf Macuch (1919–1993) / And Life Is Victorious: Mandaean and Samaritan Literatures: In Memory of Rudolf Macuch. Mandäistische Forschungen Band 1/Vol. 1. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008. 288 pp., 68€. ISSN 1861-1028; ISBN 978-3-447-05178-1.
This book consists of papers read before the international conference on Mandaean and Samaritan studies, held at the Freie Universität Berlin in the autumn of 2003. The conference was organised on the tenth anniversary of the death of the well-known scholar in Semitic languages and cultures, Professor Rudolf Macuch (16 October 1919 –23 July 1993). I had the honour of knowing Professor Macuch, who was my host during a research stay in Berlin, from 1 April 1985 to 31 July 1986, arranged and financed by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. It was no secret that Professor Macuch was an authority in various fields of Semitic study: classical and modern Mandaean, new Syriac literature and Samaritan studies in general, and Samaritan Hebrew and Aramaic in particular (see his Grammatik des samaritanischen Hebräisch [Berlin 1969]; Grammatik des samaritanischen Aramäisch [Berlin 1982]). In addition Professor Macuch made such contributions to Arabic studies as translating the Qurå:r#m in twenty-four cases, as >arr#m in thirteen cases, and as >årr#m in one case, namely, Genesis 35:5 (see Z. Ben-Óayyim, LOT, 4, Jerusalem 1977, p. 204). Sometimes the context in which a specific word occurs determines its pronunciation. The word שם (‘name’) in a positive context is articulated as ¡am (Genesis 2: 11, 3:20, 4:17, 19, and so on), whereas in a negative context, the pronunciation is ¡em (Genesis 11:4). The verb ואהבת (‘to love’, Leviticus 19:18) is pronounced today as waaThis book is a useful resource for students of Semitic studies in general and for students of Mandaeism and Samaritanism in particular. We now await the publication of the second volume, the proceedings of the conference held in 2008 in Berlin, on the same two themes.
Haseeb Shehadeh
University of Helsinki




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