De trop

Ari Kinsberg saw a poster in Jerusalem with a picture of a bottle of Johnny Walker and the caption יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙, i.e. “Joshua” in Hebrew with cantillation.

He says:

I’m willing to bet that this is the only instance of [Hebrew with cantillation] in Israeli advertising.

I wonder just how much he is willing to bet, and would he up the stakes for an instance of Hebrew with cantillation in a phrase which isn’t even a Biblical quotation?

Update: a commenter on Ari’s blog notes that the human rights pressure group B’Tselem also use cantillation in their logo. From a marketing point of view I think I understand why they do this: they are trying to make the point, on a subliminal level, that the values that they advocate are Jewish values rooted in the Torah. The bakery I linked to originally is probably aiming for something slightly different: using a Biblical style to suggest old-time, pre-industrial, healthy values. Ari’s original poster had me puzzled for a while, but I think I’ve got it: since apparently it’s advertising a bar in Ben Sira Street, maybe they chose the name of the bar as a reference to Joshua Ben Sira, and using cantillation is a way of saying “Look! We are a bar named after an extracanonical biblical book”. (Naming your place of business as an oblique reference to your street address is not unusual in Israel: another example is Ginzberg in Ahad Ha`am Street, Tel Aviv).