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Interpretation & Translation Rabbi Josh Feigelson Global Jewish Day of Learning November 7, 2010 - *"'() #$%& ""!

1. Sign Private Property No Swimming Allowed 2. United States Constitution Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791 A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. .01 -+(#./ +$,, .3 !8.41# 8!"1 27 +!2 #+$' 8+%#12# ,+*., 27 +!2 #)!#6& /#%5 34!)12 :!1#* 2.#2+ '! Rabbi Yehudah says: One who translates a verse according to its plain meaning is a liar, and one who elaborates on it is a blasphemer. 3( +"(! .4 #)!#6& *$* 27 /#%5 34!)* *$ !1#$ #9$( 3#4!)2 )5%#) !%"$ *,( -#)!#6& /#%5 34!)12 .+*., 27 +!2 *9+. $' .+2%) *$ (4& )#1() ,+! $' 29') *$ -#4& - 8!"1 27 +!2 .26!*( 3#/1 $&, +9* 34 8+%#* 8+%#2$ )#(! -)+9# $+*#2 !1#$ *,( -#+$' 8+%#12# *$* -)+9 +9+%, +!2( 8+%#2 #)'.1 *$ 8+%#2(& %#$/9#*# #+!,. )* 29(1 3#/12 )* 27,1 .3#4!) 27 $&( 3#(# (4 8.) 2$+41, '+!1*.& #.%+# !7"# "&)(9( One who translates according to its plain meaning - That is, who leaves out the additions of the [authorized Aramaic] translation we have, as if to say, "I will translate this verse only according to its plain meaning," for instance translating Ex. 23:2 as, "Do not testify on a matter" - this person is a liar. One who adds on to it: who comes and says, "Since permission has been given to elaborate, I will do so in any place that I desire." This is a blasphemer, for he defames the Omnipresent and changes His words. When Onkelos elaborated he did not do so from his own intelligence, since [his translation] was given at Sinai, and he was simply re-establishing that which had been forgotten... 3( )#5%#) .5


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ne who translates according to its plain meaning." Interpretation: according to its meaning, for instance translating Ex. 23:2 as "Do not testify on a matter." This is false. For it is just the opposite: it is a mitzvah to bring justice to light. Rather, this is how you should read it: "Do not remove yourself when someone asks you to give your opinion in a case." "And he who elaborates is a blasphemer" Rashi interprets this to mean: "One who adds on to it, who comes and says, 'Since permission has been given to elaborate, I will do so in any place that I desire.' This is a blasphemer, for he defames the Omnipresent and changes His words. When Onkelos elaborated he did not do so from his own intelligence, since [his translation] was given at Sinai, and he was simply re-establishing that which had been forgotten..." Rabbeinu Hananel interpreted thus: One who translates according to its plain meaning, for instance Ex. 24:10: "And they saw the God of Israel," as "And they saw the God of Israel." This is a lie, since they could not have seen the actual Divine presence, as it is written, "No man may see me and live" (Ex. 33:20). One who elaborates, e.g., "And they saw the angel of God," this is a blasphemer, for he hangs the praise of the Omnipresent on an angel. Rather it should be translated thus: "They saw the glory of the God of Israel." Marc-Alain Ouaknin, The Burnt Book, 73 The Hebrew, in his etymological meaning, is a passer-through (la'avor), a breaker-off (avera), a transgressor (avera), a passer-on, a producer and a creator (ubar, me'uberet, ibur hachodesh); he is also someone who takes into account that which is outside of himself (ba'avur she...). These are all words from the root 'IVR. The Hebrew tears himself away, protests, passes through. The Hebrew passer-through "not only invites us to go from one riverbank to the other [passeur, lit. 'ferryman'], but to head everywhere where there is a passage to be achieved, while maintaining this between-two-banks that is the truth of the passing." For the Hebrew, existing is becoming. The Hebrew is not something that is, but something that will be. It is a matter of creation. So, the Hebrew will be in a perpetual becoming, in a becoming that is yet to come. The Hebrew is messianic! inasmuch as "messianism is not the certainty of the coming of a man who will bring history to a halt," but a way of being of every man in time... The Hebrew language, Ivrit, should reflect this passing, this "in the process of becoming"--the essence--of man and of the world.


Translation & Interpretation  

Source sheets for Rabbi Josh's presentation in honor of the Global Day of Jewish Learning, Nov. 7, 2010.