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ואלו נאמרין בלשון הקודש: מקרא ביכורים, וחליצה, ... ברכת כהנים,... ופרשת המלך... (Sotah 32a)

these are recited only in the sacred tongue, Hebrew: Bikkurim and Chalitzah and the blessings and curses that were spoken on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal; the Priestly Benediction; and the blessing on the Torah recited by the High Priest on Yom Kippur; and the portion of the Torah read by the king at Hakhel; and the portion recited during the ritual of a heifer whose neck is broken, and the speech of a priest who is anointed for war.

While all others are not recited from the Torah scroll, or completely by heart, the king's reading of the Torah portion on Hakhel is specifically from a Kosher Torah scroll (Rambam Hagiga 3.4):

וְחַזַּן הַכְּנֶסֶת נוֹטֵל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְרֹאשׁ הַכְּנֶסֶת וְרֹאשׁ הַכְּנֶסֶת נוֹתְנוֹ לַסְּגָן וּסְגָן לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל וְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל לַמֶּלֶךְ כְּדֵי לְהַדְּרוֹ בְּרֹב בְּנֵי אָדָם. וְהַמֶּלֶךְ מְקַבְּלוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד וְאִם רָצָה יֵשֵׁב וּפוֹתֵחַ וְרוֹאֶה וּמְבָרֵךְ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמְּבָרֵךְ כָּל קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת.

The ḥazzan of the synagogue would take a Sefer Torah and hand it to the head of the synagogue, and the head of the synagogue would hand it to the deputy high priest, and the deputy high priest to the high priest, and the high priest to the king, to honor him by the service of many persons. The king would receive it standing or sitting, as he pleased. He would open it and look in it, reciting the blessing used by anyone who reads the Torah in the synagogue...

I suppose reading the Parasha means reading off the scroll word by word, not a translation or interpretation, and this is surely in Hebrew. Rambam further says that the reading makes Yotzeh even those unfamiliar with Hebrew (similar to Meggilah).

Why the Mishnah specifies that the reading should be only in Hebrew?

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    A kosher Torah scroll can be in Greek... sefaria.org/… – Heshy Oct 6 at 11:27
  • @Heshy I think, again, you greatly mislead the readers. Please show that by Sforim Rambam means Torah scrolls. THere's a difference between Sefer Torah and Torah scroll. Sforim are like Chumashim and those have little Keddusha, while the King reads the original Torah scroll. – Al Berko Oct 6 at 19:25
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The Mishna specifies that the reading should be only in Hebrew because it's true, as you said, that it's done in Hebrew. So it has to be on the list.

This is so obvious, as you stated, that this is one of the items on the list that - when discussed in subsequent Mishnayot - where no textual proof is offered that it has to be read in Hebrew.

Moreso, you could use the approach of the Maaseh Rokeach on the Rambam when he codifies this Halacha: Since the point of Hakhel was to teach the people, one could make an argument that if there were foreigners present that the King would have to translate for those who didn't understand the original. The Mishna comes ot teach us that this is unnecessary.

מעשה רקח על הלכות חגיגה ג׳:ה:א
הקריאה והברכות בלשון הקודש וכו'. הרב כנה"ג בשיירי תמה על רבינו למה לא הזכיר זה בפ"ג דעבודת יוה"כ כשהזכיר קריאת הכהן הגדול עיי"ש. ולענ"ד נראה מדקדוק לשון רבינו יובן כוונתו דמדפירש אע"פ שיש שם לועזות משמע דהוה סלקא דעתא שיקראו בלשון שמבינין ולכוונה זו הקדים הקריאה להברכות מפני שהיא עיקר חידושו משא"כ גבי כה"ג דאין שם סלקא דעתא דמכ"ש שהיה קורא בס"ת דדברים שבכתב אין לאומרם על פה ומה שהזכירו במקומות אחרים לישנא דמתני' נקט:‏

  • Oh, loved it very much! You're saying a very interesting idea: just as the Meggila can be read in Hebrew for foreigners that don't understand a word, so can Parshas Hamelech. That's a very bold saying, because it contradicts the explicit text of the Torah "לְמַעַן יִשְׁמְעוּ וּלְמַעַן יִלְמְדוּ וְיָרְאוּ" and ישמעו usually means יבינו. Anyway, how do you explain the wording "נקראים", because if the Torah is in Hebrew it can't be read in Russian, maybe translated in parallel but not read off the scroll? – Al Berko Oct 7 at 16:39
  • @AlBerko קרא doesn't always mean reading from a scroll. sefaria.org/Mishnah_Taanit.4.3 – Heshy Oct 7 at 17:36
  • @Heshy the Mishna in Sotah says he's handed a Kosher Torah scroll and he reads as on Shabbos with Brochos. What could קרא mean? – Al Berko Oct 7 at 17:42
  • @AlBerko "because if the Torah is in Hebrew it can't be read in Russian, maybe translated in parallel but not read off the scroll?" translated in parallel could (in principle) be included in the word נקראין. It's not a very good read. – Heshy Oct 7 at 17:51
  • @Heshy but one who reads AND translates surely reads, so no need to say that the קריאה IS in Hebrew. That's why I'm puzzled. BTW about you popular comment - I've posted a question with sources that the Torah in Greek is Chumash and not a Kosher Torah scroll that's read with Brochos. – Al Berko Oct 7 at 17:56

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