1.1. Name and Symbol

1. About Yawna > 1.1. Name and Symbol

I decided to apply this ancient Aramaic name to the entirety of the literary and cultural works I am producing for several reasons. Above all:

A Levantine Name:

The Levantine languages have been singled out by this name without the rest of the Semitic languages. In detail, the Ugaritic language has the root YNT, and Aramaic and Hebrew has the root YWN. It is pronounced yawna in Maaloula Aramaic, and yawnā in older Aramaic dialects. On the other hand, it was pronounced yōnā in Tiberian Hebrew. It means “dove”.

An Old Aramaic Name:

This word was found long ago, among the earliest Aramaic inscriptions. More precisely, in the inscription of Bal’am Son of Be’or, which was found in Deir ‘Alla in north-western Jordan, we find YWN, meaning “dove” at the beginning of the ninth line. The age of this inscription is estimated to be about 2,800 years.

Name of Yawna in the inscription of Bal'am

Figure 1.1.1: The inscription of Bal’am {Wikipedia> User: Disderosite. Edited by Rimon Wehbi}

Name of Yawna: Deir 'Alla site

Figure 1.1.2: Deir ‘Alla site {Edited by Rimon Wehbi}

A Biblical Symbol:

Biblically, the dove came to Noah heralding peace and the end of the flood:

Genesis 8:11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.

The Bible considers it a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God:

Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him.

An International Symbol:

It has been used on many occasions as a symbol of love and peace. The most famous of which is a painting by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, which was chosen as a symbol for the first international peace conference in Paris in 1949.

Yawna name and symbol in the Picasso's painting

Figure 1.1.3: Picasso’s painting {tate.org.uk}

Just as the dove is a symbol of peace and love, so is Aramaic the language that Jesus Christ used to spread love and peace to the whole world.

Rimon Wehbi   11/04/2021

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