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Questions tagged [translation]

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

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6
votes
3answers
7k views

Why is the word “tzvi” ambiguous? [closed]

The word tsvi (צבי) is traditionally considered to mean "deer". For example, the Hebrew name "Tsvi" has the Yiddish equivalent "Hersh", and "Hirsch" means "deer" in German. On the other hand, in ...
-8
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1answer
680 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? ...
5
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4answers
5k views

What does the Bible mean by “those that urinate against the wall” in I Samuel 25:22?

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 Hebrew, what does it really mean?
4
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3answers
113 views

Please translate “Shem Yinone mechoilol maichovim” in a selicho for Tzom Gedaliah

Please could someone offer a translation of the phrase “Shem Yinone mechoilol maichovim” in the Selicho for Tzom Gedaliah that begins “Oz Terem Nimtochu” (near the beginning of the selichos)?
13
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2answers
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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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1answer
267 views

On Deuteronomy 28:23, Rashi says copper is “mazi'a”. What does this mean?

I have this question on Rashi every year in Ki Savo. Deuteronomy 28:23 says: "And the heavens above your head will be like copper and the earth that is beneath you, iron." Rashi says that the heavens ...
7
votes
1answer
575 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
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1answer
313 views

Is there a freely distributable English translation of Tanach available?

I am in the midst of creating a media project. The content is 'religion'. There is a publicly distributable set of 4 documents in XML format (programmer speak for a document that can easily be ...
5
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1answer
245 views

How do Jews understand this idiom in Psalm 40:7

Inspired by https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1294/hebrew-ot-translation-to-greek-nt, I wonder what Jews interpret this idiom, "אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּי," to mean. The English Standard ...
6
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5answers
421 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 ...
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
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the connection between joy and divine love in Rambam's mitzva #3?

Ramba"m lists love of God as the third positive commandment in his Book of Commandments. It includes the following line, which somehow relates the comprehension of God with joy and the ultimate ...
13
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7answers
43k 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?
7
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2answers
564 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 ...
8
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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 ...
4
votes
8answers
873 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 ...
8
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3answers
537 views

Meaning of ח-ל-צ

Words of the root חלצ seem to have contradictory meanings. On the one hand it is used in the sense of "removing," as in בית חלוץ הנעל and כי חלצת נפשי ממות. On the other hand, warriors are called ...
5
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3answers
284 views

who spoke in Bamidbar 12:1?

In B'ha'alotcha Miriam and Aharon complain against Moshe, and Miriam (alone) is punished with tzara'at. In looking at this passage I found problems with the translations I had available. JPS, the ...
0
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1answer
567 views

What does this tattoo say? [closed]

Can anybody translate this Hebrew tattoo for me?
7
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3answers
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
134 views

Is the term/idea “inviolate” used in the old testament?

I was discussing the idea of privacy with my ethics professor, and he mentioned the concept of "inviolate personality". When it came up he was pretty sure the word inviolate either comes from or is ...
23
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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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3answers
729 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference in Biblical Hebrew between “zahav” and “paz”?

What's the difference in Biblical Hebrew between "zahav" and "paz"? Artscroll calls one "gold", the other "fine gold." Any other distinctions?
12
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3answers
304 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 ...
7
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3answers
886 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...)...
3
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2answers
339 views

The Shafan and Arneves

What are the Shafan and Arneves (Leviticus 11:5-6)?
12
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4answers
305 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 ...