Many people say that in Sefer Yetzirah letters are related to a part of the body, to a month and to a middah: letter lamed related to Tishrei, gall and sexual desire, letter zayn related to movement, to the month of Sivan, etc. But... I am reading this book and I found:

  1. המליך אות ל' וקשר לו כתר וצר בו מאזנים בעולם ותשרי בשנה וכבד בנפש.
  2. המליך אות ז' וקשר לו כתר וצר בו תאומים בעולם וסיון בשנה ורגל ימין בנפש Etc. Where is quoted sexual desire or movement? For me, nowhere. And why it translates (and all people translate so) כבד=gall? כבד is the liver! I'm pretty confused. Somebody can help me? (Sorry for my bad english, I'm italian). Here Sefaria Translation:https://www.sefaria.org/Sefer_Yetzirah.5.2?lang=bi

Todah Rabbah

  • Maybe the translator uses comments on the book to make a translation that makes sense
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 21:16
  • 1
    כבד מרה are indeed liver and gall
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 21:19
  • עשאן כמין (מדינה) [מריבה] here the word min is a kind of, no matter with modern Hebrew min, sexuality
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 21:21
  • Devi imparare un po di più la lingua ebraica. Questo testo è un po difficile da capire cosi.
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 21:24
  • The sefaria community translation is not particularly reliable. You can use the feedback option to correct it.
    – N.T.
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


Some sefarim on sefaria have been translated with a machine translation (literally, google translate or similar) and then touched up and slowly improved by anonymous users.

There are far more works than there are translators so always best to check if the translation used is some kind of an official one (like the gemara is Koren), it usually says in the title. It is best to only really rely on those and avoid the rest or use them for extremely limited situations.

Machine translations are particularly bad for hebrew, and even worse for biblical/rabbinical hebrew!

  • 1
    This may be true but the OP clearly said this is not just an issue with Sefaria's translation
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 12:37

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