The meaning and translation of the biblical adverb ulay ('perhaps') among medieval Jewish thinkers

Meirav Nadler-Akirav

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article focuses on the translation of the Hebrew word ulay into Arabic and its interpretation among medieval Jewish thinkers. In general, there are two approaches concerning the meaning of the word ulay: in the first it is a synonym for the words la'alla in Arabic and shema in Hebrew; and in the second it is understood through context. This second approach suggests that it can be translated into Arabic as law, law lam, la'alla, likai and la'amri. The context of the word depends on the way in which scholars understand the biblical text; thus different approaches or understandings of the text lead to different translations. This article examines the use of the word by several medieval Jewish thinkers, both Karaitic and Rabbinic, such as Rabbi David Kimchi, David Ben Abraham Al-Fasi, Abu al-Faraj Harun, Ibn ?anâh, Menahem Ben Saruck, Ya'qub al-Qirqisani, and especially Rabbi Sa'adia Gaon and Yefet Ben Eli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-96
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

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