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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6
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6answers
1k views

Why is the word for G-d in Genesis plural?

The word for G-d in Genesis 1:1 is plural in all the manuscripts, there's no debating that it's plural. So really it should read "In the Beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth". Why is this ...
15
votes
2answers
636 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
25k views

Nefesh, neshama and ruach as words for “soul”

All three words can mean something like "soul", e.g., neshama in גלגול נשמות, and ruach in וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם (Bereshit 45:27). So, what is the difference?
11
votes
4answers
367 views

All you need is love?

I once had a Hebrew professor state with absolute determination that "Ahavah" (the Hebrew word for "love") does not, in fact, mean love. His proof was twofold: 1. G-d could not have commanded us to ...
10
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
313 views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
10
votes
1answer
347 views

Can one make a siyum mesechta if it was learned in English translation?

If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English translation (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
8
votes
4answers
767 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
603 views

Where did “shabat shalom” come from?

What is the source for the greeting "שבת שלום"? Where is it earliest attested in print? What does it mean?
2
votes
3answers
377 views

What does R' Feinstein say about eating kosher food in a non-kosher restaurant?

The last paragraph of Igros Moshe O.C. 2:40 discusses when you may order kosher food [such as a banana] in a non-kosher restaurant. R' Moshe Feinstein begins: ובדבר אם מותר לאכול ברעסטאראנט ...
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vote
2answers
314 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there a site where I can see several different jewish translations at the same time?

The christians have that http://bible.cc/psalms/82-6.htm Is there something like that for jews? If there isn't, then perhaps lists of several good online jewish translation would be nice too. It ...
16
votes
2answers
637 views

What was the Arov?

The fourth plague is Arov commonly translated as wild beasts. The word I think most literally translates to "a collection" or in this case, maybe along the lines of "a swarm" (consider the word ...
4
votes
3answers
231 views

What do the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי mean in the hymn “Adon Olam”

In Adon Olam some translate the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי in the antepenultimate stanza as “the portion of my cup”. (Wikipedia translates as “Filling my cup” but I do not see that meaning in מְנָת.) For ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

Translation of haggadah section titles

What are the litteral translations of the different section titles of the haggadah? (i.e. What exactly do kadesh, urchatz, etc. mean)
2
votes
3answers
436 views

What does the term “sons of G-d” mean?

The term "sons of G-d" בני האלהים is found 3 times in the Hebrew Bible, once in Genesis (6:2), and twice in Job (1:6 and 2:1). What does it mean? Does it have the same meaning in both instances? What ...
0
votes
1answer
216 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 ?
0
votes
1answer
438 views

What does this tattoo say? [closed]

Can anybody translate this Hebrew tattoo for me?
-9
votes
1answer
435 views

If God was never incarnated, how come He sat in front of Abraham's tent and appeared among the oaks of Mamre? [closed]

http://yltbible.com/genesis/18.htm Update: This is a jewish source that think that the guy that approach Abraham is indeed God: But is it not so that he [Avraham] did not go to stand before Him? ...
24
votes
3answers
5k views

Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

I found this document in my grandfather's attic and would be thankful if someone could tell me (a) what this document is, (b) whether there are any names written, and (c) which, if any, religious ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
374 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
734 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
543 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Meaning and Difference between baruch and bar'chu

I'm sorry, I don't know a word of Hebrew, and I really want to know what these sentences mean: Bar'chu et Adonai ham'vorach l'olam vaed Baruch atah Adonai If I didn't write them correctly, ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

Can the chazzan use the vernacular quietly?

When saying a private portion of the service, such as pesukei de-zimra, may the shaliach tzibur (aka chazzan, or the person leading services) use English, and switch to Hebrew for the portions said ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there still a mesora on how to write the Torah in Greek?

Do we still have a mesora for the translation of the Torah into Greek, and if so, is this the LXX/Septuagint commonly used by Gentiles? Do we still have a mesorah for any other seforim into Greek?
6
votes
2answers
226 views

What does נְחשֶׁת mean?

In Teruma (25:3), the verse says "וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם זָהָב וָכֶסֶף וּנְחשֶׁת". Chabad (as well as Artscroll) translates it as "And this is the offering that you shall take ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Hebrew for ice - and other “new” words

After reading MB OC 301:17:65 (thanks, YDK!) I am baffled by a nagging question regarding Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. Eliezer Ben-Yehudah is known to have revitalized Hebrew, in part by taking ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Looking for a word with a distinct meaning driven by mesorah

I am researching some words to see the agendas of translators. One way to understand what a translator knew or cared about is to look for words which have a generally accepted meaning, and an ...
5
votes
0answers
171 views

Shochtim who learned from translated materials

The Maharil in his Tshusvos Chadashos ("New Responsa," mentioned here), writes (Siman 93) that the custom is not to give kabblah to shochtim who learned the laws shechita in German (translated ...
5
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Translation of shem Adnus

I have noticed that ArtScroll usually translates the shem of Adnus (Adonoy) as My Lord. Other translations of the Tenakh and Siddur use "Lord" or "O Lord." There are some pesukim that cannot be ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development?

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development? By ancient I mean B.C.E. I also would appreciate if you can also provide links to online English translations if ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Translation of Hamantasch from Oznei Haman

The Hebrew translation of the Yiddish word Hamantaschen is Oznei Haman - "Ears of Haman". Hamantaschen sounds more like "Pockets of Haman". Why the different words and meanings for the same Purim ...
3
votes
2answers
634 views

Jacob Neusner's talmud bavli and yerushalmi

How does Jacob Neusner's translations of the talmud bavli and yerushalmi compare to artscroll's, koren's, and soncino's? I have never seen Neusner's in a shul or bais midrash unlike the other three ...
3
votes
2answers
123 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Judeo-Arabic Translation of Bible

Anyone know of any Judeo-Arabic translations of the Bible (i.e. Arabic in Hebrew characters)? It would be great if you could link me to them as well.
2
votes
3answers
82 views

What was the main job duty of Sar Hatabahim?

The word Tabah means to cook. In modern Hebrew, a Mitbah is a kitchen. In Arabic, Tabaha means "he cooked". And yet, from what I can find, nearly all Biblical commentators, Jewish and gentile, by the ...
2
votes
3answers
837 views

English Translation of Zohar online

I'm looking something up in the Zohar on Bereishis (Genesis), but I can't translate the words. Does anyone know where I can find an English translation of the Zohar on Bereishis, that's online?
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Translation of 'Takana'

What would a fitting colloquially accepted translation of the word takana be? Assuming we are dealing of course with a rabbinic decree and so as to convey the intent as apposed to 'gzeira', 'syag', ...
2
votes
4answers
138 views

How does the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא relate to halachic Jewish life?

I have seen the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא mentioned in the halachic works of various Rishonim. Neither it's plain meaning in these works nor it's connotations in relation to the significance of custom ...
2
votes
1answer
176 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?
2
votes
3answers
152 views

What is the meaning of the words כהיום הזה in the prayer על הניסים ?

What is the meaning of the words כהיום הזה in the prayer על הניסים ? Are there options other than the Artscroll interpretation, "unquestionable clarity"?
2
votes
2answers
194 views

The Shafan and Arneves

What are the Shafan and Arneves (Leviticus 11:5-6)?
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vote
3answers
631 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
361 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?