Questions tagged [translation]

Questions about translation in general, or about translation of specific words in Jewish texts.

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

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 ...
android.nick's user avatar
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14 votes
7 answers
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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?
Lev's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
386 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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6 votes
8 answers
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What does the term "sons of G-d" mean?

The term "sons of G-d" בני האלהים is found 5 times in the Hebrew Bible, once in Genesis (6:2), three times in Job (1:6, 2:1 and 38:7) and one time in Psalms (29:1). What does it mean? Does it have the ...
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24 votes
2 answers
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Why was the translation considered a tragedy if it was already translated into 70 languages?

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 ...
ray's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
526 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 "...
Seth J's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
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"Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

I am puzzled by the Mishnah's original text of the famous Jewish idea that "whoever saves one life [...] saves an entire world" (Sanhedrin 4:5). The English from sefaria.org reads thus: "It was for ...
SAH's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Scimonster's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
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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 "...
Double AA's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
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What is the best English translation of the Tanakh (hard copy, not online)?

I'm looking for the best available English translation of the Tanakh, and because I prefer to hold an actual book in my hands, I'd rather have a hard copy as opposed to an online version. Some ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
1k 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?
WAF's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
677 views

Difference in meaning of Zeicher / Zecher

In this question it discusses the background of saying both Zeicher & Zecher in Devarim 25:19, however I was wondering what is the difference in translation between Zeicher & Zecher?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
692 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?
Shraga's user avatar
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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 ...
Seth J's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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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?
warz3's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
443 views

How can I distinguish p'shat from interpretation in torah translations if I'm not fluent in Hebrew?

This question is prompted by a specific case, but I'm asking a general question. This question is not, specifically, about the Aramean. The specific case, for illustration: I've seen two different ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
648 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 ...
unforgettableidSupportsMonica's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
731 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 ...
Nick Rolando's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
8k views

Do Jews today consider the King James translation of the Tanakh to be acceptably accurate?

It is my understanding that Jewish tradition holds considerable reverence for accurate translations of its scripture. Do Jews today consider the King James translation known as the Old Testament to ...
JBH's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does "prohibited l’chatchila" mean?

To me the phrase prohibited l’chatchila seems a bit confusing. Can someone explain what this means in plain and simple english? (context: someone says "action X is prohibited l’chatchila")
yydl's user avatar
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What parts of the Septuagint are and are not reliable?

As noted in this Mi Yodeya discussion, the Greek translation of the Torah was done by 70 rabbis who each separately took identical precautions to avoid giving idolators and minim a chance to misuse ...
Bruce James's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
619 views

Was Potiphor a Eunuch?

I ask because on the one hand he and some of Pharoh's other servants are described in the Hebrew as סריס, but the translations I've seen are usually in the vein of Lord Servant. For instance, my IDF ...
Robert S. Barnes's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
500 views

The Rabbis of the Septuagint

I’m familiar with the Talmudic account of the Septuagint, but I would like to know if there are any sources/Midrashim that allude to who the 70 rabbis/scholars were and why THEY were chosen to ...
Jmill388's user avatar
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2 answers
6k 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 ...
user4951's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k 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 of ...
WAF's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
178 views

What Egyptian/Greek text was Ibn Ezra consulting for his commentary on the name "Moshe"?

Ibn Ezra suggests that Pharaoh's daughter, who spoke Egyptian, most likely called the baby Monios, the Egyptian word for drawn; the Torah translated into Hebrew as "Moshe." He then writes that he ...
Shalom's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Shnayim mikra ve'echad targum in English

Can I fulfill the obligation of shnayim mikra by saying the pasuk two times and then the English translation one time?
Gavriel's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
887 views

What is the best translation of the word נַעַר?

So I have been studying the meaning of the Hebrew word נַעַר. I understand that it's difficult to always find exact translations of certain words in the Hebrew vocabulary, but I have found in my ...
Katan's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do we know that penguins are non-kosher?

Did anyone posek that penguins are (non)kosher? Well, the same question might be regarding the swans. The Sonchino edition Talmud Bavli, Chullin 62B says: "R. Huna said: Bunia is permitted parwa is ...
Ulrikhe Lukoie's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do English translations use the name "Eve" rather than "Chava"?

When the Bible is translated into English, most Hebrew names are simply transliterated into Roman characters. In a few cases though, a completely different name is used. In the case of Hadassah/...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
299 views

What does *ruach raa* in the mishna brura refer to?

I've started learning Mishna Brura and I've come across ruach raa in the sefer's discussion of hilchot netilat yadayim. Is ruach raa simply another word for tuma, does it refer to smell, or some ...
theideasmith's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
620 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)
2345678876543's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
529 views

Are there any reliable English translations of Masechtot Ketanot?

I am interested in studying masechet Sofrim, which focuses on scribal arts. They are one of the tractates known as masechtot ketanot. I have found a very reliable English translation of Avot Derabbi ...
DanF's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
378 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 ?
CodyBugstein's user avatar
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-8 votes
1 answer
800 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? ...
user4951's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Jonah's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
429 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?
none's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
464 views

Why did Yosef's brothers speak freely in the presence of the interpreter?

In Parashat Miketz, Yosef's brothers encounter him disguised as the viceroy of Egypt, and he accuses them of espionage, jails them for three days, and makes a demand that they know their father would ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why does it seem like Jewish texts are never translated?

I'm a Stack Exchange user on many other sites and every once in a while I will see a question on this site that sparks my interest in the hot questions. The only two things I know about Judaism ...
Sidney's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
526 views

Sefaria and Rabbinic Endorsements

Sefaria is a popular Web site with various translations of holy texts. Are any rabbinic authorities on record as endorsing or forbidding it? Translations can be subjective. It is inevitable that one's ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
MDMoore313's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k 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 tar. ...
Menachem's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
382 views

Dr. Bronner's soap

If you read the label of a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap you will find--as I was flabbergasted to find--that the very last words are a whimsical English translation of "Shema Yisroel." Dr. Bronner ...
SAH's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
475 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 ...
sam's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
WAF's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
Roy's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
860 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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
201 views

Is signing G-d's Holy name in casual conversation a violation of mentioning His name in vain?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes: אסור להוציא שם שמים לבטלה וכל המוציא שם שמים לבטלה עובר על מצות עשה דכתיב את ה' אלהיך תירא ... ולא לבד בלשון הקודש אסור אלא אפילו בכל לשון אסור It is ...
DanF's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
13k views

What is the firmament?

In Genesis 1:6-8 the firmament and its creation are mentioned for the first time: And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' ...
Gabriel12's user avatar
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