In English, the words ‘make’ and ‘earn’ are synonyms: “How much does he make?” = “How much does he earn?” In Lashon Ha-Kodesh, the word ‘make’- ‘Aseh’ is synonymous, not with ‘earn’, but with ‘do’. We don’t ‘earn’ our livelihood; objectively we deserve nothing. Rather, we do what we can, we make an effort-hishtadlus, and Read more
I always have trouble this time of year. We’re in the infamous ‘nine days’, Tisha b’Av is around the corner. I know it’s a time of mourning, and as a Jew with a long-eyed view of history, I know there’s plenty to mourn about. That’s not the problem. My temperament’s not the problem either. Melancholia Read more
Every year, we read the story of the exodus from Egypt in the Pesach Haggada. In the Midrash, it’s written that the Egyptian exile was the hardest period of time that Am Yisrael experienced. The slavery was extremely hard. Writing in Likutey Halachot, Rav Natan of Breslov says that the exile was a galut hanefesh Read more
If a person isn’t extremely careful, all his wisdom will simply contribute to his feelings of pride growing to monstrous proportions.
In any situation, including writing a book review, where one must protect someone from harm, there are five rules that govern what one may say.
The Ten Commandments famously open with the words, “I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of Egypt…” (Ex. 20:2). In this context, the Hebrew word for “I” is anochi. But try using the word anochi to mean yourself in Modern Hebrew, and you will encounter chuckles and guffaws. The word anochi is considered Read more
A “messenger of G-d” refers to either an angel or a prophet, but what about a “messenger of Jacob”? When Jacob sent a message of peace to his older, belligerent brother Esau (Gen. 32:4), the Torah says that he sent Esau malachim (“messengers”). While the word malach in Hebrew may mean “messenger”, it also means Read more
Translating Torah classics also has a two-fold process. Our job as translators is to ferry over the subject matter, not only from one language to another, but also from one generation to the next.
Say your prayers, eat your Wheaties, take your vitamins, and you will never go wrong.
The Rishonim likened translating from the source language to the target language as pouring the contents of one vessel into another.