Mocha of Tiberias, or Palestine

Mocha Of Tiberias, Or Palestine a noted rabbi, who flourished shortly after the middle of the 8th century, is said to have been one of the world's greatest savans. Unfortunately but little is known of his personal history. He established, or at least amplified, the interlineary system of vocalization, called the Tiberian, or Palestinian, which has for centuries been generally adopted both by Jew and Gentile in pointed editions of the O.-T. Scriptures, to the exclusion of the superlineary system, called the Babylonian, or Assyrian, which was invented or extended by Acha of Trak (in the first half of the 6th century). Like his predecessor R. Acha, the author of the opposite system, R. Mocha also compiled a large and small Masorah, in which are discussed the writing of words with or without the vowel letters (מלא וחסר), the affixing of certain accents (נגונות), accented syllables, Dagesh and Raphe, rare forms; archaic words, homonymes, etc., as is evident from an ancient MS. of the Pentateuch by Firkowitzsch. where the following Masoretic gloss frequently occurs: "Rabbi Mocha writes this with and that without the vowel letters." These Masoretic glosses he wrote in Aramaic, and in the Tiberian dialect — the language of the Palestinian Jews — in order to make his labors both accessible and intelligible to all his people. Not unfrequently, however, these Masoretic glosses are intermixed with notes written in Hebrew. See Pinsker, Likuti Kadmonijot (Vienna, 1860), page 62, Appendix; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 5:552; First, Gesch. des Karaertthums, 1:15 sq., 134 sq.

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