33 votes
Accepted

Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

As Danny Schoemann says, it's a ketubah. A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract. The text in this form matches the standard text presented and translated on this Chabad.org page. People Groom: ...
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33 votes
Accepted

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

The KJV may give the general sense of a translation in many cases. However, it has a definite Christian bend and does not always follow the Jewish traditions in translation. I will illustrate this ...
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  • 3,416
24 votes
Accepted

What does בהאנרעלזשולע mean?

R. Hoffman is using the German word for business school: Handelsschule. The question thus raised is: A father told his son to write in business school on the holy Shabbat. He does not want to and ...
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  • 10.6k
21 votes
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"Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

In the manuscript Parma 3173 there is no "מישראל"; In the manuscript Budapest Kaufman A50 no more; The Mishna of Mechon Mamre, Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5 based on Rambam manuscript idem; לפיכך נברא ...
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  • 22.1k
19 votes

Why does it seem like Jewish texts are never translated?

There's no sin in translating Jewish texts (nowadays, at least). I have no source for saying so, but there's evidence in the vast amount of Jewish literature that has been translated into various ...
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  • 73.4k
17 votes

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

Harry Orlinsky, editor-in-chief of the NJPS, in a 1990 essay pointed to the example of three texts in the KJV as being faulty and showing Christian bias: Genesis 1:1-3, Psalm 2:12, and Isaiah 7:14. ...
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16 votes

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

My sister made this chart. It is kind of a condensed version of the hebrew one: And here's a version with the titles transliterated, instead of translated:
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  • 42.7k
15 votes

Does the word בָּר mean corn?

In British English, "corn" can mean any grain, not just maize (the plant native to America). See Merriam-Webster; Wiktionary.
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  • 8,163
14 votes
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Any known translations of the Talmudim et al into classical languages, prior to the 19th century?

Most if not all of the translations below include detailed notes that cite many other Rabbinical works. (It must be noted that the purposes of the translations and commentaries listed below varied ...
13 votes

Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

The religious implication of this ketubah is that it may be possible to use it to establish, in a Jewish court, certain facts about the listed bride and groom: That they were Jewish. On this basis, ...
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  • 46.7k
13 votes

What is the best translation of the word נַעַר?

Radak in Sefer Hashorashim (page 155 in this copy), explains that it refers to someone who is "young in years", without specifying an age. However, he continues, it can also refer to an attendant (...
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  • 5,529
12 votes

Obfuscation of Mei Raglayim in translation

Perhaps because not everyone translates "Mei Raglayim" as urine. The Shitah Mekubetzet (Chof-Chet) to Kritot 6A brings 2 translations of "Mei Raglayin". The first being actual urine, but the second ...
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  • 42.7k
12 votes

Sefaria and Rabbinic Endorsements

Emeritus Chief Rabbi Jonathan H. Sacks, "In Praise of Sefaria": "Sefaria is one of my favorite things in the entire contemporary Jewish world. It is taking cutting-edge technology and doing ...
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  • 444
11 votes

Is the Targum Neofiti a valid source of translation?

I'm just going to assume that when you say "authoritative", you mean "valid interpretations of Rabbinic Judaism", and not that it was given to Moshe at Har Sinai or something like that. From my own ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What is the firmament?

The notion of a semi-spherical shell around the world, that the sun travels under during the day, and then back around and over at night is not necessarily the early Israelite understanding of ...
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  • 8,660
11 votes

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

KJV is definitely not considered most-accurate; at the bare minimum, it was not a direct Hebrew-to-English translation. KJV was intended to sound old, and to sound really good when spoken out-loud. ...
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  • 126k
10 votes

Why does it seem like Jewish texts are never translated?

As mentioned above, there aren't any general prohibitions (per se) on translating Jewish texts into the vernacular, be it English, French, Russian, Yiddish, etc. Regarding Text on This Site Many ...
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  • 3,854
9 votes

What is the best English translation of the Tanakh (hard copy, not online)?

Since you said Tanach, I'm going to only include full Tanach translations here and ignore the various translations which only include the Torah. These are all the complete Tanach translations I know ...
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9 votes
Accepted

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

The ibn Ezra is almost certainly referring to the Nabatean Agriculture, a work that was widely cited by many rishonim (medieval authorities), most notably the Rambam. (Ibn Ezra appears to have ...
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  • 5,455
9 votes
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Can you help me translate an inscription on an amulet for a friend?

אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני Im eshkachek Yerushalayim tishkach yemini "If I forget you O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill." The words are from Psalms 137:5.
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  • 17.5k
9 votes

Translation of an inscription on a Kiddush cup

The inscription reads "L'chaim," and means "to life." It is a well known toast in Hebrew/Yiddish.
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9 votes
Accepted

Would someone please translate this midrash on the death of Moshe?

Here's the first version (some of the punctuation is based on Eisenstein's edition) (some question marks in-between for words I wasn't sure how to translate): “This is none other than the house of ...
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  • 20.2k
8 votes

Why translate Torah to 70 languages?

The gemara Sot. (35b) explains that the purpose was for other nations to know its meaning. See also Tosefta Sot. (8:5). In the Mekhilta on that part of Deut., which Dr. Solomon Schechter uncovered, ...
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  • 11.7k
8 votes
Accepted

translate inscription on pendant

It is the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph-bais) in order, but the letter samech (the fifteenth) is damaged, and the gimel (the third letter) looks like a nun, and the heh (fifth letter) looks ...
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  • 3,294
8 votes
Accepted

Other gods or gods of others?

It's from Rashi, Shemos 20:3: אלהים אחרים. שֶׁאֵינָן אֱלוֹהוּת אֶלָּא אֲחֵרִים עֲשָׂאוּם אֱלֹהִים עֲלֵיהֶם, וְלֹא יִתָּכֵן לְפָרֵשׁ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים זוּלָתִי, שֶׁגְּנַאי כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה ...
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  • 7,337
8 votes
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Rabbinic changes in the Septuagint (Megillah 9a) - facts or fables?

As I wrote in the comments, the modern Septuagint we have today is not the one made by the 72 elders. This is more so true for the Septuagints of the Prophets and Writings, which weren’t even ...
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  • 20.2k
8 votes
Accepted

What is a קאפיזי"ש?

The first measurement listed there is a Fanega, and the Portuguese measurement is a Moio. I couldn't easily find the others, but hopefully this helps your understanding!
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7 votes

Where can I find the Halakhot of the Rif in French or English?

At Alfasi.blogspot.com, I have translated the Rif (into English) for the following masechtot: bava batra bava kamma beitza brachot chagiga eruvin gittin ketubot kiddushin megillah moed katan nedarim ...
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  • 19.9k
7 votes
Accepted

Translation please Yiddish and roshai taivois about getting married fast

My translation: In these days, for many reasons (including also - reasons of Yiras Shamayim [דיר"ש = דיראת שמים]) it is not a desirable thing to commit oneself and how much more so [ועאכו"כ = ועל ...
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  • 31.3k
7 votes

Translation of the word 'DiMistapina'

It literally means "that I am afraid." "לולא דמסתפינא"--"were it not that I am afraid" is a common rabbinic phrase typically signaling a novel interpretation which the author is not confident enough ...
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