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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Modern Torah Translations

I would like to direct your attention to two modern Torah translations:

The first is my rather pathetic attempt at absolute literal translation. It is hard to read and it is unfinished but it does provide previously unnoticed insights into text.

Here is the excerpt:
Genesis 1:1 In a beginning created God the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:2 And the earth becomes chaos and emptiness and darkness upon the faces of abyss. And the spirit of God vibrated upon the faces of the waters.
Genesis 1:3 And saying God, "Become light!".And it is becoming light.
Genesis 1:4 And seeing God the light that it is good. And separating God between the light and between the darkness.
Genesis 1:5 And calling God light  "day,"  and darkness call  "night."  And it is becoming evening and it is becoming morning, day one.
Genesis 1:6 And saying God,  "Become shall an atmosphere in the midst of the waters, and it is becoming a separation between waters and waters."
Genesis 1:7 And making God the atmosphere. And They are separating between the waters which is under atmosphere and between the waters which are above atmosphere. And it is becoming so.
Genesis 1:8 And calling God atmosphere  "heavens." And it is becoming evening and it is becoming morning, day two.
You can read the entire translation on this page.

And the second translation is a similar attempt by George Athas

Here is an excerpt:
At first, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was disorder and disarray, with darkness over the surface of the ocean, and God’s wind swirling over the surface of the water.
Then God said, “Let there be light.”
And there was light.
God saw that the light was good, so God differentiated between the light and the darkness. God called the light ‘day’, while the darkness he called ‘night’.
Evening came and morning came: Day One. 
Then God said, “Let there be a ceiling in the midst of the water, and let there be a differentiation between bodies of water.”
So God made the ceiling and he differentiated between the water underneath the ceiling and the water above the ceiling.
And that’s how it was.
God called the ceiling ‘heavens’.
Evening came and morning came: a second day.

You can read the entire translation on this page.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"The Torah Does Not Command a Temple" Article

Here is an article written by my friend, Ryan Tompson, about the Tabernacle (Mishkan) and its importance in the Torah.

Here is an excerpt: 
"When we actually attend to the specific wordings of the ceremonial commandments, one notices that these services are worded to specifically apply to the use of the Tabernacle (AKA “tent of appointment”, etc), not to any temple or other facility.  Many times, these commandments are explicitly stated to be an “enactment of forever”, and in the process they very explicitly refer to the Tabernacle.  For example, Leviticus 4:3-8 refers to the ceremony to be performed when a priest does wrong, and it states that the bull is to be brought to the “opening of the tent of appointment”, then he is to bring its blood “to tent of appointment” and spatter it before the “divider” (a part of the Tabernacle), then he is to take the blood and put some on the altar of incense “which [is] in tent of appointment”, then the rest he is to pour out at the base of the altar at the “opening of tent of appointment”.  These ceremonies are extremely specific, and they explicitly refer repeatedly to the actual arrangement and structure of the commanded Tabernacle.  Furthermore, there is no command in the Torah given regarding transferring these ceremonies to a temple or any other structure, and such a massive rewriting of the commandments, which would be required to justify such, is surely not what is expected of us.  Should we not obey according to the wordings of the commandments?"
You can read an entire article here

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