Seventy Eyes, SHiVeeyM ENaYiM: The Varieties of ע AYIN
In the eternal endeavor of studying Hebrew Scripture, there is the saying that Torah has:
ענים שבעים SHi(V)eeyM ENaYiM, 70 “eyes,” faces or facets, or ways of looking at any text. Hearing Biblical Hebrew read, or reading it from a scroll without diacritical marks and punctuation, engenders a built-in multiplicity. More so than ב Bet/Bhet orש Shin/Sin, the ע Ayin was designed to be diversified. Edenic letters and words were exiled, scattered among the nations. Only an exceptional half-million words, exceptions that prove the rule, are likely to be repatriated as Edenic.
עין [A]YiN (eye) gave Middle English “eyes” like ein and eyne. Modern English dropped the N. The Old Teutonic augon either switched a guttural Ayin/G with a vowelized Yod/Y, or shifted the י Yod to a J-like sound. So, Germans too, after dropping the Noon/N, could not see eye to eye with Hebrews with their Auge (eye) .
The easiest forms of עין [A]YiN (eye) to see are in Dravidian. There’s the Hindi aankha (eye), similar in Guriati. But even in S. India the guttural Ayin appears in the Telugu eye: kanu
In Mandarin Chinese there is yan (eye) matching noun עין AYiN (eye), and Cantonese (Hong Kong) gin to see, which matches the verb עין GHaYeN (to see).
Another good ע Ayin word to see this diversity is the large circle of words built around עגל [A]GoaL (round). Vowel-Ayin words include the round EGG (Lamed/L dropped). As a vowel, it is usually the Ayin that dropped. Thus round words in English like GEAR and GYRE, Hindi challā (hoop) and Polish kolo (wheel). CALENDAR and CYLINDER are from Greek kylindein (to roll), like גלגל GaLGaiL, to roll. Arabic sounds way too guttural to Western ears, to Ashkenazik Hebrew University professors. But Arabic has vowel-Ayin words, even an עגל [E]GoaL word. That round, black thingy that keeps an Arab kaffiya in place on the head is called an agal.
The guttural Ayin gets us CIRCLE, CIRCUITRY and CIRCUS from Greek κύκλος kýklos (circle). German Kugel is a ball or any sphere. The Yiddish קוגל KUGEL, is a kind of pudding.
But wait, there’s more. Ayin can also be a guttural letter between the silent vowel and the harsh G or K. The letter H. HELIX , from Greek helikos (spiral), seems to have switched the #2 and #3 letters of Ayin-Gimel-Lamed (round). We then have words like HELICOPTER and HELICON (the circular tuba). Here are three H-from-Ayin words in Finnish (not Indo-European):
heimo, a tribe or clan < S-G עם GHahM, nation, people [COMMON]
hereillä, awake; herätys, wake-up call, awakening; herä, wake < S-G ער GHeR
hunaja, honey < עונג GHoaWNeG], delight [HONEY] as German hoeing (honey)
In sum, more than most Edenic letters the ע Ayin was designed to diversify.
More at E-Word Digital Dictionary entries like “CYCLE,” “EGG” and “EYE.” Even with these few examples it is clear that the Israelis who think that a guttural Ayin is from Arabic influence need to get out more.
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