Questions about the various Aramaic translations that accompany much of the Jewish Biblical Canon, or about translation of specific words in Jewish texts.

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4
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3answers
225 views

who spoke in Bamidbar 12:1?

In B'ha'alotcha Miriam and Aharon complain against Moshe, and Miriam (alone) is punished with tzara'at. In looking at this passage I found problems with the translations I had available. JPS, the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the term Cushite used to refer to people of African descent?

While reading the book of Numbers (I am a Christian, I don't know if it is referred to something else in Judaism), I came across the passage (Numbers 12:1-15) where Miriam and Aaron were speaking ...
3
votes
3answers
595 views

Translation of the word “nimshal”

Rabbinic writings (e.g. * Rabbah and other midrash) use the words "mashal" (noun) and "nimshal" (verb). What do these terms mean in English? I've heard "parable" or "allegory" for the noun but I am ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

What does ריש חזית mean?

I'm reading(/trying to read) the introduction to the Vilna Gaon's איל משולש (his geometry textbook). The first two words are ריש חזית. What does ריש חזית mean? If it helps, the phrase is immediately ...
4
votes
0answers
92 views

On what basis do we understand references to Orion and the Pleiades in Iyov?

Iyov 38:31-32 reads: הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ מוֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ: . הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם: Can you tie the chains of the Pleiades ...
1
vote
3answers
339 views

What differentiates the Artscroll Talmud compared to other translations?

The Artscroll Talmud, translated with copious notes into both English and Modern Hebrew, has received wide approval from all sectors of the orthodox world. In fact, I am not aware of any opposition, ...
6
votes
2answers
158 views

Ibn Ezra's Arabic-based explanation of the vav heading some clauses

Sh'mos 9:21: וַאֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׂם לִבּוֹ אֶל דְּבַר יהוה וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת עֲבָדָיו וְאֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה And 13:17: וַיְהִי בְּשַׁלַּח פַּרְעֹה אֶת הָעָם וְלֹא נָחָם אֱלֹהִים דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Definition of Baal Nefesh

I have seen "Baal Nefesh" used frequently in various contexts: sometimes as one who is scrupulous in halacha, other times as someone who is a quality person. What is its simple translation/meaning?
0
votes
1answer
172 views

Translation of פתחו לי שערי צדק

What is the most accurate English translation of the famous verse from Tehillim (Psalms) פתחו לי שערי צדק ?
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Translating Hebrew works into English

I hope this is not a stupid question. But, I've seen countless Hebrew works that have yet to be translated into English (I don't know about other languages, like German, French, etc. because I'm not ...
5
votes
2answers
638 views

What's the meaning of “Hashmal” (electricity in modern Hebrew) in the bible? (Ezekiel 1:4)

Ezekiel 1:4: I saw, and behold, there was a stormy wind coming from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and a brilliance surrounding it; and from its midst, like the color of the Hashmal ...
8
votes
3answers
546 views

What is Rashi proving with words in different languages

There are many places in Rashi's commentary where he uses a foreign language to translate a word used in the Torah. For example, Bereshit 6:14: בכפר: זפת בלשון ארמי. ומצינו בתלמוד כופרא With ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Question regarding ונביא גדול הוא קרוב ממשה רבנו in Rambam's Hilkhos Teshuva

Here is some text from Rambam's Hilkhos Teshuva: לפי שבאותן הימים תרבה הדעה והחכמה והאמת...מפני שאותו המלך שיעמוד מזרע דויד בעל חכמה יהיה יתר משלמה ונביא גדול הוא קרוב ממשה רבנו ולפיכך ילמד כל העם ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the Bible mean by “those that urinate against the wall” in I Samuel 25:22?

A more precise version of this vague question: What does the Bible mean by "those that urinate against the wall" in I Samuel 25:22? There are different translations for the phrase; what is the ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

A good translation of “bimah”

What is a good translation of the word "bimah" (as in both the "stage" generally and the "table" specifically in a synagogue whence the Torah is read) to use with a non-Jew? Altar and stage both seem ...
2
votes
0answers
188 views

Does the name Daniel really mean: 'G-d is my judge'?

Most people pronounce the Hebrew name דניאל as Dani-el. Surprisingly enough, when the name Daniel is mentioned in Tanach (in the book of Daniel) it is written with a Tzeirei under the Yud with no ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the word “tzvi” ambiguous?

The word tsvi (צבי) is traditionally considered to mean "deer". For example, the Hebrew name "Tsvi" has the Yiddish equivalent "Hersh", and "Hirsch" means "deer" in German. On the other hand, in ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Translation of Kuntres Tiferes Adam

Is there a English translation version of Kuntres Tiferes Adam by the Chofetz Chaim? Is there an online version as well?
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Is there a translation of the words of Ben Sira?

Is there an authoritative translation into English of the works of Ben Sira (his wisdom, his alphabet)?
6
votes
3answers
267 views

Why the emphasis on Hebrew in Judaism?

Why does Judaism have such an emphasis on Hebrew phrases in their religion and seems reluctant to translate them to English or another language?
8
votes
3answers
266 views

“Baruch shekivanti…”

There is a phrase of self-compliment people use when they find that they have independently arrived at the same conclusion as someone great. It begins with the words "ברוך שכיוונתי", translated ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

What does מִלְמַעְלָה in Gen 7:20 mean?

Genesis 7:20, describing the flood, says: חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה, גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם; וַיְכֻסּוּ, הֶהָרִים.‏ Almost everybody translates the first clause as some approximation of ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

Is there a problem with JPS?

JPS is the 1917 translation of Tanakh from the Jewish Publication Society, NJPS (New JPS) is the 1985 renewed edition to "reflect contemporary scholarship." The NJPS has the best English translation ...
11
votes
2answers
327 views

Translation to Greek

I just read in parashat ki tavo that the torah was translated into 70 languages and written on giant stones, yet the talmud says the translation of the torah to Greek many years later was considered a ...
1
vote
2answers
242 views

Hebrew to English Translations of Daniel 9:23-27

I'm kind of falling on a last resort here. I'm trying to get as close to a literal translation of the most original form of Daniel 9/I:23-27 as possible. I haven't been able to find anything in ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What is “הער״ט איר ניט”?

נטעי גבריאל, in הלכות נשואין, volume 2, chapter 118, section 8, footnote 11, cites the מהרי״ל‬ (biographical information): שכשהיה קורא לאשתו אמר בלשון‬ ‫אשכנז הער״ט איר ניט כדרך העולם שהזיווגים ...
9
votes
2answers
135 views

verb + its infinitive

Many, many times in Tanach, including Chumash, a verb has its infinitive nearby. Examples include B'reshis 2:16 מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל (I think that's the first example in Chumash) and ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Why don't translations of Tehilim 119 translate נשף like the Gemara?

The Gemara on Berachos 3b asserts that נשף can mean either "dawn" or "evening", and cites Tehilim 119:147 as an instance of "evening". However, every translation I have seen of this verse - the ...
2
votes
1answer
317 views

How do the English translations of the Mishnah vary?

I am aware of three (!) English translations of the Mishnah, there is the Philip Blackman translation, the Danby translation and the Jacob Neusner translation. How do these three translations differ? ...
7
votes
4answers
551 views

What is the exact definition of Shituf (vis a vis 'Avodah Zarah)?

"Shituf" is the heretical idea of some sort of co-mingling of something with G-d (Has VeShalom). According to many rabbinic opinions, Christianity is Shituf (cf., Is Christianity Avodah Zara?), and ...
1
vote
1answer
200 views

Why translate Torah to 70 languages

Rashi to Devarim 1:5 says Moshe translated the Torah into 70 languages. Why did he do so?
3
votes
1answer
166 views

etymology of “Bnei Blial”

The term "בְּנֵי בְלִיָּעַל" appears several times in Shmuel (e.g., 1Sam 2:12). It is usually translated along the lines of "dishonorable people". Where does בְלִיָּעַל come from? Are there other ...
-1
votes
1answer
703 views

What are the possible reasonable meanings of “Love thy neighbor”?

What are the original Hebrew words for "love", "thy", "neighbor", "as", "you", "love", "yourself" in "love thy neighbor as you love your self"? What's the transliteration of those words in English ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Is there a freely distributable English translation of Tanach available?

I am in the midst of creating a media project. The content is 'religion'. There is a publicly distributable set of 4 documents in XML format (programmer speak for a document that can easily be ...
7
votes
1answer
531 views

Keeping in mind the meaning of every word of prayer, vs. being mindful of general concepts

If I were to sit down with my prayer book, I could translate it. I know what the words mean, and I know what they are saying conceptually. However, when I'm praying, if I try to translate in my head ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

English translation of Sefer Machaneh Ephrayim

Is there an English translation on the Internet or in print of the book of the chiddushei harav efraim navon? As of Tammuz 5772, I have encountered no evidence that such translation exists.
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0answers
49 views

Leaving the King's road?

We say in Bemidbar 20:17 to Edom: Let us now pass through your land: We won't pass through the fields and vineyards and we won't drink well-water; on the road of the king we will go, we won't ...
7
votes
1answer
260 views

Published Ladino version of Meam Lo'ez?

The Me'am Lo'ez (מעם לועז‎), begun by Rabbi Yaakov Culi in 1730, is a commentary to Tanakh written in Ladino. It was subsequently translated to Hebrew and translated from the Hebrew to English in a ...
-1
votes
2answers
536 views

How to write “Isaiah 41,10” in Hebrew? [closed]

I've already seen that someone wanted to know how to write Isaiah in Hebrew, but my question is mainly about the numbers, because I found just a few numbers, which can be written in Hebrew. I've ...
7
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the best online English translation of Tanach?

I am aware of a number of partial or complete English translations of Tana"ch online, but I am wondering if there are any I am unaware of, especially that fulfill the following criteria: Precision ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

English Translation of Rabbi Y. Salanter's Igeret ha-Musar?

Where can I find a decent-quality (but preferably good) and free English translation of Igeret Hamusar on the Internet?
6
votes
0answers
112 views

Seeking Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal in English

Is the Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal available in English? I have already read Derech HaShem, Daas Tevunos, Mesillas Yesharim, and Ma'amar HaGeulas, so I would be interested in other of his works in ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

The Shafan and Arneves

What are the Shafan and Arneves (Leviticus 11:5-6)?
9
votes
1answer
168 views

Traditionalist evaluation of the “New American Haggadah”?

One of the hot new offerings in the Haggada market this year is the New American Haggadah by novelists Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander. It features a new translation by Englander as well as ...
6
votes
3answers
214 views

Difficult phrases in the “Sale of Chametz” document

I am currently working on a clarification of the document which is usually used by rabbis to sell chametz to a non-Jew. The version I am working with is that of Harav hagGaon Avraham Aharon Yudelewitz ...
6
votes
2answers
96 views

Need some good Russian Purim/kiruv links

I was totally shocked today, talking with one of my Russian colleagues. He had absolutely no idea what Purim was about. Not Mordechai, not Ester, not Achashverosh, not Haman - he didn't even know ...
10
votes
1answer
300 views

Is there a rule for Rashi's French transliterations (Laaz)?

Rashi frequently uses French words in his explanation to Chumash or the Gemara. However, he doesn't write it in the original language, but he writes it in a "transliteration" of French in Hebrew ...
14
votes
2answers
238 views

Why don't we use a translator during Torah reading?

Outside of the Teimanim I am not aware of any other segments of Judaism that still employ a meturgamen (translator) during kriat ha'torah. Why has this practice fallen into disuse?
3
votes
1answer
63 views

What does “Comp.” at the end of a posuk's translation mean?

I.e. 201 results for Comp. here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Guide_for_the_Perplexed_(Friedlander)/Part_III/Chapters#CHAPTER_XLVI I assume it means "end of verse" or something?
2
votes
1answer
110 views

How does the content of the JPS English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot differ from that of the Hebrew version?

Because I am not yet fluent in Hebrew I am excited to learn that JPS is publishing an English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot. (So far they've done Sh'mot, Vayikra, and Bamidbar.) As noted in one of ...