Devarim: The Words of Moses — The Torah’s First “Translation”

Posted by Leon Morris on July 25, 2017
Topics: Pardes from Jerusalem: Weekly Parsha Podcast, Devarim, Devarim (Deuteronomy)


In many ways, the book of Deuteronomy — a series of long discourses by Moses — is a sort of “translation” of the earlier four books of the Torah. This characterization is quite ancient. In midrash, the Rabbis connected the book of Deuteronomy associatively to the debate over translating the Torah into Greek centuries later. In so doing, they explored the questions of the ways in which Torah can enrich, and can be enriched by, other languages. At the root of their discussions is the notion that Torah transcends language and that its words can be a source of healing.

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About Leon Morris

Leon is the President of Pardes. He comes to Pardes from the Shalom Hartman Institute where he was Vice President for North American programs in Israel. He was also on the faculty of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna 1994-95) and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El (now the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center) in Manhattan. Click here to read more.

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