Mysterious inscription

This mysterious inscription was sent in by an editor at the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona. One of their reporters is working on a story about a book that was donated to a local library there. It’s a portfolio of prints apparently related to the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad that was compiled for the 1939 World’s Fair.

The inscription below is on the flyleaf, and they’ve been trying to determine what language it’s in in the hopes of getting it translated.

Mysterious inscription

The writing appears to be in a cursive form of the Hebrew script, and the language might be Hebrew or Yiddish.

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This entry was posted in Puzzles, Writing.

9 Responses to Mysterious inscription

  1. Lau says:

    Definitely Hebrew. Probably a quote from the bible.

  2. Daniel says:

    This is indeed Hebrew cursive :)

    “זכרתי לך חסד נעוריך
    אהבת כלולותיך לכתך אחרי
    במדבר בארץ לא זרועה.
    וזכרתי את בריתי אותך בימי
    נעוריך, והקימותי לך ברית עולם.”
    לשאתי האובה בראש-השנה תש”ד

    About the first three lines (in Hebrew):
    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/kitveyet/maaliyot/zaharti-2.htm
    And the next two lines (also in Hebrew):
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_32676_68.pdf

    Translation:
    “I remembered to you the grace of your youth
    Your wedding love, you walking after me
    in the desert, in an un-sown land
    And I remembered my covenant with you on the days
    of your youth, and I built you world covenant”
    To my beloved wife, on Rosh Hashana 5704

    Rosh Hashana is the new Hebrew year’s day.
    תש”ד 5704 is the Hebrew year that occurred on 1943-1944:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5704_(Hebrew_year)

    Finally a script here that I can decipher :)

  3. Lau says:

    After a bit of googling I found out that the first three lines are from Jeremiah 2.2, but I have no idea what the last three lines mean.

  4. Daniel says:

    Correction for the last line in Hebrew:
    לאשתי האהובה בראש-השנה תש”ד
    instead of
    *לשאתי האובה בראש-השנה תש”ד

  5. bronz says:

    It looks like a husband words to his wife.
    As previous posters have pointed out, the first three lines are basically the last half of Jeremiah 2:2. The next two lines are Ezekiel 16:60.
    You can check the various translations (and original Hebrew) in scripturetext.com.

    The very last line translates roughly so:
    To my beloved wife in the beginning of the year of 5704 (or 1944).

  6. bronz says:

    Oh, I see Daniel already did all the work including the last line. At least we have the verse numbers now :)

  7. bronz says:

    Please ignore my last line (it would be 1943, not 1944, as Daniel pointed out already).

  8. zeke says:

    it’s funny how things become mysterious…
    I write like this every day, but if you find a note in Hebrew in Arizona it suddenly becomes mysterious.
    I wonder where (or when) people might find some english writing somewhere and wonder in what language the “mysterious inscription” is in.
    But I guess that’s the case of many inscriptions on this website…

  9. jdotjdot89 says:

    Finally a script I could decipher, and someone beat me too it :(