Chayei Sarah: Language and Translation

…and Abraham came to eulogize [lis’pod] Sarah and to bewail her [v’liv’kotah*]. (Stone**)

…mourn for Sarah and bewail her. (Plaut/JPS and TWC**)

…to mourn Sarah and to keen for her. (Alter**)

…set about to lament for Sara and to weep over her. (Fox*) Continue reading Chayei Sarah: Language and Translation

Haazinu: Language and Translation

Given the poetic nature of Ha’azinu [“Give Ear”], language and translation are pervasive topics for this portion. One set of phrases to consider appears in 32:18:

You neglected the Rock who begot [y’lad’cha] you,
Forgot the God who labored to bring you forth [m’chol’lecha] — Plaut/Stein


The Rock that birthed you [y’lad’cha], you neglected,
you forgot the God that produced-you-in-labor [m’chol’lecha]. — Fox

Fox includes a footnote: “produced-you-in-labor: A reminder that God is not always perceived in exclusively male imagery in the Bible.” The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (Plaut/Stein) offers extensive notes on the two verbs here — both of which are sometimes used in a gender-neutral or masculine context, but most often “to describe the mother’s role in giving birth.”
Continue reading Haazinu: Language and Translation