Questions tagged [translation]

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

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14
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7answers
45k 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?
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6answers
2k 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 ...
12
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3answers
314 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 ...
21
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2answers
1k 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
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4answers
431 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 "...
18
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
9k views

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 ...
4
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8answers
953 views

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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2answers
2k 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 "...
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3answers
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?
10
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4answers
2k 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 ...
3
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3answers
465 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 ...
12
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3answers
483 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?
11
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1answer
562 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?
5
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3answers
275 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 ...
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3answers
530 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
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2answers
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 ...
2
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2answers
324 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 ...
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4answers
17k views

“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 ...
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2answers
2k 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")
7
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2answers
625 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 ...
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4answers
438 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 ...
7
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1answer
160 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 ...
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4answers
577 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 ...
5
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1answer
598 views

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?
3
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1answer
156 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 ...
3
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1answer
583 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)
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1answer
300 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 ?
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1answer
720 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? ...
8
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5answers
10k 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.' ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why translate Torah to 70 languages?

Midrash Tanchuma, brought in Rashi to Devarim 1:5 says: בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב הוֹאִיל מֹשֶׁה בֵּאֵר אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת לֵאמֹר׃ (Moses commenced [and] explained this Law, saying...) ...
5
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4answers
932 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?
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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 ...
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3answers
4k 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
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2answers
957 views

Is this chart of the mesorah of Torah available in English?

Does anyone know if this chart of the mesora of Torah is available in English? or if there is anything like it in English?
7
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3answers
209 views

Trying to Understand the Riddle of Bar Kappara

Bar Kappara (possibly Eliezer haKappar, possibly his son Shimon) was a tanna who was known, within the Talmud, for his unusual antics and unchecked speech. In Nedarim 51a, he causes Rebbi to laugh out ...
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3answers
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. ...
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2answers
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 ...
10
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3answers
836 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
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1answer
168 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 ...
7
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1answer
588 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 ...
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5answers
433 views

What is the English translation of the Yiddish word באווארן? [closed]

I'm trying to figure out a good way to say the Yiddish word באווארן in English. We used this a lot in Yeshiva, usually in the context of "to באווארן a question". To explain: A statement would be ...
4
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3answers
17k 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, ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Text of the Mishna Brura (Online English)

Does anyone know if there is an online translation of the Mishna Brura into English on the internet beginning with the first Siman?
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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?
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3answers
2k 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, ...
2
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1answer
639 views

Why is a Greek Torah Scroll Kosher?

I once read that a Greek Sefer Torah is Kosher, is this correct? Is it also correct that Greek is the only language other than Hebrew that a kosher Sefer Torah can be written in?
16
votes
2answers
375 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?
12
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4answers
314 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 ...