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Pumbedita and Fallujah

Finally from Secrecy News of July 28, there's this fascinating item.

Pumbedita was the site of one of the main rabbinical academies in ancient Babylon where the Talmud, the repository of Jewish law and lore, was elaborated a millennium and a half ago.

Fallujah is the city in modern Iraq where some of the most violent acts of anti-American insurgency have occurred.

Remarkably, Pumbedita was located in what is now Fallujah, writes Hershel Shanks in the latest issue of the Jewish magazine Moment (August 2004,

In fact, "According to Jacob Obermeyer, a 19th century scholar, [the word] Fallujah is the linguistic equivalent of Pumbedita."

"Aramaic Pum-Bedita is Pallughtha in Syriac and Falluga in Arabic, or Fallujah as current newspapers spell it."

"It is interesting to think about the fact that the Talmud was created in one of the most violent towns of modern Iraq," writes Shanks, who also edits the Biblical Archeology Review.

I wanted to read more. I looked for the article on-line at the Moment web site, but apparently this particular one is not available there (or anywhere else for that matter).

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