Communication difficulties - Livre d'Or

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Communication difficulties
Monday, 11 September 2006 at 06:14 pm
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So I took my mezuzah, my Granny's silver one, to the local jeweller today to ask him to repair it. Unfortunately, he only speaks about 10 words of English, while I only speak about 10 words of Swedish.

It's reasonably easy to explain using gestures: please repair this broken object. It's somewhat less easy to explain that no, he shouldn't touch the funny papery stuff that he can see through a window in the back. I just about managed to pantomime "no, you don't wear it as a necklace, you nail it to the wall". I completely failed to convey "no, it's really not an amulet".

He was showing me a bunch of amulets that he writes and makes, written in a script that looks similar to Arabic but I'm fairly certain isn't. He said something about Aramaic, which if we weren't just completely talking past eachother would make him the second Aramaic speaker I've met here. And he attempted to convey something about how his religion teaches the unity of humanity and he respects all religions. And I think what he was saying is that he is some kind of sofer, for a religion which certainly isn't Islam (he was vehement on that point) and I don't think is Christianity either, though he did keep saying "Yeshua! Yeshua!". But now we're getting into pretty abstract topics for a conversation with no common language!

Anyway, it was trying to be a nice fuzzy intercultural encounter, of the sort that sometimes occurs when a non-Jew notices a mezuzah. Except that our level of linguistic competence it became somewhat farcical.

After all this, I should probably get the writing checked, shouldn't I?

Whereaboooots: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Moooood: confusedconfused
Tuuuuune: Foo Fighters: Everlong
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snjstar: default
Date:September 11th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
5 hours after journal entry, 10:43 pm (snjstar's time)
Yes you should
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Date:September 12th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
You seem not to have enough Jews and no Jewish authorities to help you like fixing and checking things. I know the European situation in particular on the main land is very difficult. Did he manage to fix it at the end? I am amazed that you also understand a bit Aramaic. I know it is a semetic language like Arabic and Hebrew as well. Aramaic people are another Christian group. I don't think they are Koptic but maybe near to it. It is only a guess. I just guess that Arabic Christians and Aramaic Christians are similar. My mom met someone. She always heart my Hebrew cassettes when I learnt Modern Ivrit. She thought the man spoke Hebrew. He felt insulted as he was not Jewish but did not know that they are both very similar and are from the same linguistic family. She found out that he was Aramaic and Christian. I always follow the Kaddish in the siddur which is in Aramaic. When I did not know it I thought it is some weard Hebrew but now I know it is Aramaic. It is so similar. Some word you can understand if you know the Hebrew word for it as well.
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