Devarim 5781: The Words of Moses — The Torah’s First “Translation”

Posted by Leon Morris on July 12, 2021
Topics: Pardes from Jerusalem, Devarim, Torah, Devarim (Deuteronomy)

This podcast was originally published in 2017 and even more relevant today.

Devarim 5781: The Words of Moses — The Torah’s First “Translation”

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 the 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 the Torah transcends language and that its words can be a source of healing.

Sources include Megillah 8b and Megillah 9a, Soferim 1:7, Devarim Rabbah 1:1 and Ezekial 47:11

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Rabbi Leon Morris – Pardes President, Faculty and Host for Pardes from Jerusalem Podcast
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About Leon Morris

Rabbi Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus '94-'95; Summer Program alumnus '93 and '94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna '94-'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. Before coming to Pardes, Leon served as a Vice President for Israel Programs at the Shalom Hartman Institute and was a faculty member at Hebrew Union College. Click here to read more.

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