Ki Tavo: Language and Translation

“I have removed the holy things [biarti ha-kadosh] from the house…” (Stone)

“I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house…” (JPS, Plaut/Stein)

“I have rooted out what is sanctified from the house…” (Alter)
Devarim/Deuteronomy 26:13

The root variously translated above as “removed,” “cleared out” and “rooted out” — bet-ayin-reish — is the same verb often used elsewhere when Israel is commanded to rid itself of evil. For example:

“You shall remove the evil from Israel.” — Stone
“Thus you will sweep away evil from Israel.” — JPS, Plaut/Stein
“You shall root out the evil from Israel.” — Alter
Devarim/Deuteronomy 22:22

Alter notes that the verb “is employed here to suggest how rigorous one must be in the setting aside and not appropriating the tithe dedicated to the poor (“what is to be sanctified”).

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Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages, blogs on general stuff a and more Jewish topics at and

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