pageok
pageok
pageok
Why Not "Jewland?"

Ha'aretz explains how the Jewish state came to be called "Israel," something I've wondered about. I still think "Judea" or "Zion" would have been a better name. Ever (state of the Hebrews) was among the other names considered.

The objection that "Judea" was an actual historic state, much of whose territory was not included in 1948 Israel, neglects the fact that there was also a historical Kingdom of Israel, whose territory was also not included in 1948 Israel (Har Gerizim, for example, the site of the Israelite temple, is in Samaria, part of West Bank). Moreover, it would have made a pertinent political point to call the country "Judea"--that the 3rd Jewish commonwealth need not occupy the exact same territory as its predecessors, a point that some of the Messianic elements within the Israeli Jewish community would do well to heed.

Colin S (mail):
Surely you realized how the name Zion would have been been a bit too politically sensitive.
5.7.2008 5:35pm
AntonK (mail):
Or, from the Arab, Persian, Palestinian, and Leftist point of view, why not a "Parking Lot"?
5.7.2008 5:37pm
HipposGoBerserk (mail):
Anton,

Not sure what you're getting at. Wouldn't those groups have proposed "Temporary Criminal Zionist Crusader State"?

HGB
5.7.2008 5:39pm
EH (mail):
AntonK: Funny, isn't that the use some have suggested for Iraq?
5.7.2008 5:47pm
rarango (mail):
Riffing off the Reverend Jesse Jackson: Hymieland? (apologies for any bruised sensibilities--not intended, some of my BEST friends......)
5.7.2008 5:50pm
john dickinson (mail):
The most interesting part of that article to me was the brief consideration of whether "Israel" should translate into Arabic literally, or as "Palestine."
5.7.2008 5:52pm
Steven Lubet (mail):
Altneuland.
5.7.2008 5:53pm
PC:
AntonK: Funny, isn't that the use some have suggested for Iraq?


Yes, but Iraq is full of Arabs.

Thanks for the link Prof. Bernstein. Interesting article.
5.7.2008 5:54pm
AntonK (mail):
EH: "Funny, isn't that the use some have suggested for Iraq?"

Iraq? No, not that I have ever heard, ever.
5.7.2008 5:57pm
Mark Butler (mail):
Don't both "Judea" and "Israel" suffer from the historical problem that there were two biblical kingdoms with those names which resulted from the division of the united kingdom that included all the Israelites? So, doesn't "Israel" represent just a part of the ancient people. Not just a part, though, but the part that isn't there now, since the tribe of Judah was primarily located in the kingdom of Judea, and the 10 tribes comprising Israel were lost.

Bringing in that expert in ancient Israel's history and government, Isaiah:


And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isa 11:12, KJV)



OK, so maybe the dispersed of Judah have been gathered--except for those in New York and Miami Beach and . . . . But what of the outcasts of Israel? Still lost, aren't they?

I vote for Judea.
5.7.2008 6:02pm
rarango (mail):
Second Mark Butler's post and for the historical reason he cites.
5.7.2008 6:05pm
Hoosier:
I think the Israelis should change the name to "Occupied Palestein." Just to piss people off.

Or, at the very least, change the spelling to "Isreal," so my undergrads can get it right.

Final suggestion: "Higland Parkistan"
5.7.2008 6:05pm
Vernunft (mail) (www):
The People's Front of Israel does not have the same ring.
5.7.2008 6:05pm
Anderson (mail):
Why Not "Jewland?"

Because they were saving that for the theme park?
5.7.2008 6:08pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
Israeli People's Front!!
5.7.2008 6:11pm
Hoosier:
Jewgoslavia?
5.7.2008 6:11pm
anonthu:
Hoosier wins the thread
5.7.2008 6:16pm
Anderson (mail):
Yeah, I've seen the actual country spelled "Jugoslavia" in sources from the 1920s and 30s. Good catch, Hoosier!
5.7.2008 6:20pm
Patrick S. O'Donnell (mail):
It should have been called Palestine.
5.7.2008 6:24pm
JoshL (mail):

Surely you realized how the name Zion would have been been a bit too politically sensitive.


Forget about that, there are bigger problems with "Zion." You do realize what that translates to in Hebrew, specifically of you pronounce it "zayin"?

Now, "Tzion," that's another matter.
5.7.2008 6:31pm
Anderson (mail):
Actually, the way to *really* piss some people off would've been to call it "Macedonia."
5.7.2008 6:32pm
Jay:
"Forget about that, there are bigger problems with "Zion." You do realize what that translates to in Hebrew, specifically of you pronounce it "zayin"?"

Something funny?
5.7.2008 6:39pm
autolykos:

"Forget about that, there are bigger problems with "Zion." You do realize what that translates to in Hebrew, specifically of you pronounce it "zayin"?"


Believe it or not, my Hebrew is a little rusty...
5.7.2008 7:04pm
John425:
One would think that Israelites are from Israel. Like people from Boston are Bostonians and Texans from Texas , etc.
5.7.2008 7:04pm
Jimmy S.:
Why "Judea" (the Roman province) and not "Judah" (the independent state ruled by Rehoboam and his successors)?
5.7.2008 7:21pm
Yankev (mail):

One would think that Israelites are from Israel. Like people from Boston are Bostonians and Texans from Texas , etc.
John425, wouldn't that make your Bostonians and Texans Bostites and Texites?

Adding "i" to the end is the Hebrew equivalent of the "ite" or "an" geographic suffix in English. The Ha'aretz article, being in English, does not convey this well. When the article spoke of the use of the terms Babylonian, Assyrian, etc. it would have read Bavli and Assyri in the original Hebrew, denoting people from Bavel (Babylonia) and Ashur (Assyria -- the letters shin and sin are the same in the Alephbet, except for the placement of a diacritical mark that is omitted in the pure form of the written language).

Similarly, one from Moav (Moab in English) or Ammon is a Moavi or Ammoni, respectively.

Please don't ask me why a man from Egypt (Mitzrayim) is a Mitzri and not a Mitzayami.
5.7.2008 7:23pm
qwerty (mail):
it's amazing given the circumstances that Israel's founding fathers tried to accomodate arab citizens and did their best to avoid forcing an unpalatable name on them (scroll down to the very bottom if you dont have the patience to read through the whole thing). i wonder if the folks on the other side of the new border gave any thought to the sensitivities of jews in their territory.
5.7.2008 7:31pm
hattio1:
Completely off topic, but does anyone know why those from Glasgow are called Glaswegians rather than Glasgowians? Are there any other examples where the root word has a syllable inverted? I can't think of any, Glasgow seems to stand alone.
5.7.2008 8:03pm
Cornellian (mail):
I suggest "Zooland" with the citizens thereof being referred to as "Zoolanders."
5.7.2008 8:05pm
Cornellian (mail):
does anyone know why those from Glasgow are called Glaswegians rather than Glasgowians? Are there any other examples where the root word has a syllable inverted? I can't think of any, Glasgow seems to stand alone.

Manchester / Manicunian. The Brits like their little linguistic eccentricities.
5.7.2008 8:06pm
Yankev (mail):
Qwerty, on that topic, see Efraim Karsh's article in this month's Commentary Magazine, which puts the lie once and for all to all the ridiculous charges about supposed ethnic cleansing in 1948.
5.7.2008 8:07pm
MDJD2B (mail):
Irving? Doesn't sound as Jewish as Israel, but everyone knows.
5.7.2008 8:21pm
George Smith (mail):
Murray
5.7.2008 8:40pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
When I was growing up in the 1950's, I thought that "Palestine" was just another name for Israel.
5.7.2008 8:46pm
ys:

Yankev:

Please don't ask me why a man from Egypt (Mitzrayim) is a Mitzri and not a Mitzayami.

It's because Mitzrayim is a plural form (don't ask me why).


Cornellian:
does anyone know why those from Glasgow are called Glaswegians rather than Glasgowians? Are there any other examples where the root word has a syllable inverted? I can't think of any, Glasgow seems to stand alone.

Manchester / Manicunian. The Brits like their little linguistic eccentricities.

And Liverpudlian not to mention Scouser
5.7.2008 8:51pm
Bender (mail):
The choice of Israel has always puzzled me. In the Old Testament, Israel is the bad older brother of Judea. (Perhaps a part of the explanation why younger sons are portrayed as doing so much better than elder sons throughout the Tanach.) Certainly, Israel's Omrid kings (Omri, Ahab, Hezekiah [the exceptional good king]), etc.) do not get along well with the Lord. Eventually, what was Israel becomes the geographic base of the Samaritans, who were anathema to the ancestral religion of rabbinic Judaism. It's almost like those who chose the name Israel were distancing themselves from the religious origins of the Jews.
5.7.2008 8:55pm
yankev (mail):

Irving?
Or Isadore.
5.7.2008 9:22pm
CDR D (mail):
Wasn't it Hadrian who decreed the change of the province's name from "Judea" to "Palestine" after the revolt of 132-135?
5.7.2008 9:29pm
yankev (mail):

The choice of Israel has always puzzled me. In the Old Testament, Israel is the bad older brother of Judea. (Perhaps a part of the explanation why younger sons are portrayed as doing so much better than elder sons throughout the Tanach.)

Israel is also the name of Jacob, patriarch of the Jewish nation. The Tanach speaks of redeeming the B'nai Ysireol -- Sons (or descendants) of Israel from Egypt, and the same term B'nai Yisroel is used during the entire travel through the desert and the conquest of Canaan. I may be wrong, but I think that Israel is also the term used for the undivided kingdom ruled first by Saul, then by David and his son Solomon.


It's almost like those who chose the name Israel were distancing themselves from the religious origins of the Jews.
In Talmudic and rabbinic literature, the kings of the Davidic line -- even those who ruled over Judah after the division -- are referred to as Kings of Israel. The Mishna and Gemara use the term Yisrael to refer to a Jew, even though the northern kingdom was long gone by that time.
5.7.2008 9:29pm
LM (mail):
Jew Nersey.
5.7.2008 9:38pm
LM (mail):
qwerty,

it's amazing given the circumstances that Israel's founding fathers tried to accomodate arab citizens and did their best to avoid forcing an unpalatable name on them (scroll down to the very bottom if you dont have the patience to read through the whole thing). i wonder if the folks on the other side of the new border gave any thought to the sensitivities of jews in their territory.

They solved that problem another way.
5.7.2008 9:46pm
Bender (mail):
Yankev: Good points. I guess we've gone from the Davidic Kingdom of Israel, to the Hasmonean Commonwealth of Israel, to the modern State of Israel, (and other stuff in between), each a homeland for the descendants of Jacob/Israel.
5.7.2008 10:04pm
LM (mail):

Yankev: Good points. I guess we've gone from the Davidic Kingdom of Israel, to the Hasmonean Commonwealth of Israel, to the modern State of Israel, (and other stuff in between), each a homeland for the descendants of Jacob/Israel.

"Jews 'n Stuff?"
5.7.2008 10:15pm
Jaldhar:
ys said:


It's because Mitzrayim is a plural form (don't ask me why).


The Egyptians themselves thought of their land as two kingdoms — Upper and Lower Egypt. See Wikipedia. So perhaps the Hebrew usage was based on that?
5.7.2008 10:53pm
Gaius Marius:
Israel should encompass all the land between the River of Egypt and the Euphrates and between the Mediterranean and the ancient of borders of Moab and Ammon.
5.7.2008 11:09pm
BGates:
Burma!


Sorry.

I panicked.
5.8.2008 12:21am
LM (mail):
Japan.
5.8.2008 12:58am
JB:
Actually, considering the historical cockiness of the Israeli military/political establishment, "Zayin" would quite possibly be an appropriate name.
5.8.2008 1:09am
Can't find a good name:
The Hebrew word for Zion is pronounced "tzee-yon." But that's not the word that the rest of this comment is about.

There is a different Hebrew word which is pronounced "zayin," effectively the same as the way the name "Zion" is pronounced in English. That "zayin" is the name of the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It also means "sword." And it also is a slang term meaning "penis."
5.8.2008 1:09am
Hoosier:
Further imponderable: Why is the language spoken in Jewgoslavia not called "HEEBONICS"?
5.8.2008 2:39am
BGates:
Schmalestine.
5.8.2008 3:29am
Jam:
I am with Yankev, also. Should have been called United Kingdom of Israel but ...

Where is Israel's king, as required by the decision of the Elders to exercise the option (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) to switch to a government ruled by a king (1 Samuel 8)?
5.8.2008 10:20am
Hoosier:
Jam--Isn't there some sort of, I dunno, "statute of limitations" on that sort of thing?

Or does it work like colleges? If a college closes for some time--say a couple millenia--can't the folks who revive the charter make some changes?
5.8.2008 10:29am
yankev (mail):
Gaius M.

Israel should encompass all the land between the River of Egypt and the Euphrates and between the Mediterranean and the ancient of borders of Moab and Ammon.

As I recall, that is dependent on Am Yisroel 's devotion to Torah and Mitzvos.

Hoosier:

Why is the language spoken in Jewgoslavia not called "HEEBONICS"?
I always thought of Heebonics as Yiddish-syntaxed English. As was pointed out when the clamor for Ebonics started, when our grandparents came to the US from Europe, many of them did not have what to eat. Some of them lived by relatives and didn't have where to do homework. But if any of them thought the public schools ought to conduct all of the classes in Yiddish, or stop teaching standard English, he wouldn't have dared to open a mouth.

Or dilmah Heebonics is mamish the same as yeshivashe shprach. A lot of the oilam holds that way, if you chap what I'm saying.
5.8.2008 10:59am
pete (mail) (www):
Jewtopia
5.8.2008 12:56pm
ys:

Jaldhar:
ys said:

It's because Mitzrayim is a plural form (don't ask me why).

The Egyptians themselves thought of their land as two kingdoms — Upper and Lower Egypt. See Wikipedia. So perhaps the Hebrew usage was based on that?

That makes a lot of sense, especially that it's more precisely a dual form ending, not plural.
5.8.2008 12:56pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
The way I heard it, zayin was a slang word for "sword". (Especially considering the related verb.)
5.9.2008 6:13pm