It survived into the medieval period as the language of Jewish liturgy, rabbinic literature, intra-Jewish commerce, and poetry.
Then, in the 19th century, it was revived as a spoken and literary language.
"I'm sure men would tell you it's my boobs, but I like my eyes," she says.
"They have a natural cat's-eye shape, so I try to play that up." Sofia lines her eyes with a copper-colored kohl pencil.
According to the dictionary, "cult" can also mean a group that pays special devotion to some individual.
For example, in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, the first definition given is "a system of religious worship directed towards a particular figure or object." Yes, I suppose that definition fits us as well, with the particular figure or object of our worship being the Lord Jesus Christ. (And yes, you bet we believe in the grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ -- it's our only hope.) But recently, contrary to its original generic meaning, the word "cult" in popular use carries frightening overtones.
An argument ensued, and an evening that should have ended with nothing worse than bad hangovers all round saw Pëllumb shoot his drinking companion dead. Ten years later, on the wall above the doorway of her dingy parlour, Pëllumb's sister-in-law, Shkurte, has a gallery of photos of dead relatives, all martyrs to the family honour that was offended that night.
In one are Pëllumb's two brothers, killed in revenge by his victim's relatives in 2002.
'So many deaths from that one night,' sighs Shkurte, a gaunt, dark-haired woman who looks 10 years older than her 38 years.'Pëllumb was a good man, but hot-headed and macho.
If he hadn't gone drinking that evening, none of this would ever have happened.' And what, exactly, was the 50-year-old feud about that he took such offence?
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