Sunday, March 3, 2013

the Septuagint

Daily Quote

When a father punishes his child, the suffering he inflicts on himself is greater than anything experienced by the child. So it is with G-d: His pain is greater than our pain.

- Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov

Torah translated into Greek (246 BCE)

In a second attempt to translate the Torah into Greek (after an unsuccessful attempt 61 years earlier), the ruling Greek-Egyptian emperor Ptolemy gathered 72 Torah sages, had them sequestered in 72 separate rooms, and ordered them to each produce a translation. On the 8th of Tevet of the year 3515 from creation (246 BCE) they produced 72 corresponding translations, including identical changes in 13 places (where they each felt that a literal translation would constitute a corruption of the Torah's true meaning). This Greek rendition became known as the Septuagint, "of the seventy" (though later versions that carry this name are not believed to be true to the originals). Greek became a significant second language among Jews as a result of this translation. During Talmudic times, Tevet 8 was observed by some as a fast day, expressing the fear of the detrimental effect of the translation.

Links: The Day Before; Translating Truth; more on translation
Wednesday Tevet 8 5703

Torah lessons: Chumash: Vayigash, Revi'i with Rashi.

Tehillim: 44-48.

Tanya: Ch. 7. On the other (p. 25)...the students thereby. (p. 27).

The Tzemach Tzedek instructed all the tutors of his young grandchildren, that, in addition to regular studies, they should teach the simple meaning of the prayers. Once a month the children came to their grandfather to be tested in this subject.

Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson


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On the Third Day There Was PeaceNext »

Essential Peace There is a recurring theme in the volumes of stories told of the Rebbe: The tale of the man who was in the right place at the right time.

There are the stories of someone embarking on a trip to some distant place, and the Rebbe gave him a book to take along, or asked him to do a certain thing there, or to meet a certain person. Or the Rebbe simply asked someone to go to a place, with little direction of what to do there.

And then, in these stories, it always works out that just at the right time the right person turns up in the right place and all the story unfolds. It's all a matter of making connections: Every soul has certain sparks of light scattered throughout the world that relate to it in particular. The Rebbe sees the soul and senses, like a geiger counter, the sparks that await this soul. All that was needed is to bring the two within a reasonable proximity and the rest takes care of itself.

The stories are meant as a teaching as well. The Rebbe was revealing to us the wonder of our own lives, that there is purpose latent in whatever you are doing.

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