Early Translation of the Pentateuch

By

Dr Ley

 

 

The sages tell us Moses did not only speak to Israelites in Hebrew; he also translated the scriptures (Pentateuch: the first five books of the Old Testament) into the seventy languages of the original seventy nations of the world.

This was opening the possibility for future translations of the scriptures, as in our time, communicating aspects of scriptural thought to very disparate kinds of people: men and women with different lifestyles, with different questions. The scriptures have answers for them all, but these have to be translated in a way which they can understand.

Now, this is a sensitive and possibly dangerous process. A false phrase in the translation might lead a person in the wrong direction, with serious consequences. In fact, the sages were very anxious about an actual event in the Second Temple period, when the Pentateuch was translated into Greek. The Hellenistic king of Egypt was fascinated by the idea of the Hebrew scriptures, and ordered the sages to produce a translation. He was worried they might falsify something, so he made 72 sages sit in separate cubicles, so that each one would write an independent version. Providentially their translations tallied with each other, even when it came to delicate passages which could easily be misconstrued. (Each letter and mark in scripture was counted as well as the words. After the count of differing copies they had to match exactly or it was accomplished again.)

Nonetheless, the later Jewish sages commented that the day the scriptures were translated into Greek “was as difficult for the Jewish people as the day when the Golden Calf was made, because the Torah cannot really be translated.” What is meant by the comparison with the day the Golden Calf was made?

(Incidentally, the worship of the Golden Calf caused Moses to break the Tablets of the Law on the 17th of Tammuz, commemorated with a fast. This began the Three Weeks which culminate with the fast of the Ninth of Av, when both Temples were destroyed.)

The sages were worried about a false translation of the Torah. In a sense, that is exactly what the Golden Calf was: a false translation of spirituality. The people wanted something spiritual which would be here, in our lower world. A true translation of holiness would be the Sanctuary, or the Temple. According to Nachmanides, the Golden Calf was actually intended to substitute for Moses. Moses’ role was to connect the Jewish people with God. A false translation of this role was the Golden Calf: an idol, which would only separate people from God.

However, ultimately the translation of the Pentateuch into Greek had a positive effect: it communicated the word of God to all nations.

 

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

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ALERT ALERT

YIKES!!! Chelsea Clinton Emphatically States A Person With A Beard And A Penis Can ‘Absolutely’ Identify As A Woman

  • The one issue Hillary and Chelsea don’t appear to agree on entirely is transgender self-identification
  • In an interview with The Sunday Times, journalist Decca Aitkenhead asked the Clintons about transgender self-identification
  • Chelsea Clinton replied ‘yes’ emphatically when asked if someone with a beard and penis can ever be a woman
  • ‘It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently,’ Hillary said
  • Aitkenhead said Hillary became ‘uneasy’ when the question was asked while Chelsea shot a ‘furious stare’ at the journalist as her mother answered
  • Hillary added: ‘It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw’

(Daily Mail) – It may appear Hillary and Chelsea Clinton always see eye-to-eye, but in a recent interview one topic cracked the facade of the like-minded mother-daughter power duo.

The one issue Hillary and Chelsea don’t appear to agree on entirely is transgender self-identification.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, journalist Decca Aitkenhead asked the Clintons if someone with a beard and a penis can ever be a woman, to which Chelsea replied emphatically, ‘Yes.’

However, as Aitkenhead describes it, Hillary looked ‘uneasy’, and blamed generational gaps for being less accepting.

‘Errr. I’m just learning about this,’ Hillary responded. ‘It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw. It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently.’

The Clintons sat sown with Aitkenhead to promote the book they co-authored, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.

The book features Danica Roem, the first trans woman elected to a U.S. state legislature.

According Aitkenhead’s account, she tells Hillary during the interview that many British feminists of Hillary’s generation have a problem with the idea that a ‘lesbian who doesn’t want to sleep with someone who has a penis is transphobic.’

Hillary nods in agreement, while Chelsea ‘stiffens and stares at me’, according to Aitkenhead.

The journalist then adds that many women of Hillary’s generation are uncomfortable with biological males sharing women’s bathrooms.

‘I would say that, absolutely,’ Hillary nods firmly. ‘Absolutely. Yes.’

That’s when Chelsea begins shooting a ‘furious stare’ at Aitkenhead, who points it out to her.

‘I’m a terrible actor’, Chelsea laughs.

Chelsea then says she is thrilled with the National Health Service’s decision to assign patients to single-sex wards according to the gender they identify as, instead of their biological make up.

‘How can you treat someone if you don’t recognize who they feel and know in their core they are?’ Chelsea says.

‘And I strongly support children being able to play on the sports teams that match their own gender identity,’ she adds. ‘I think we need to be doing everything we can to support kids in being whoever they know themselves to be and discovering who they are.’

At this point Hillary looks conflicted.

‘I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is,’ Hillary says. ‘There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ”You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.” I hear that conversation all the time.’

Despite the clear tension in the room, the pair say they don’t argue about this topic.

But according to Aitkenhead, ‘I get the impression they don’t like to present anything less than a united front to the world.’

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