Thursday, February 4, 2016

Linked Discussion - Book Review of the Hirsch Chumash

Book Review of the Hirsch Chumash

"In a recent Bookjed Digest - 
Francis Nataf reviewed the new translation of the Hirsch Chumash. The following discussion is based on the criticisms that appear in that review. 



Reb Sholom, 

I forwarded a copy of the review of the new translation of the Hirsch Chumash by Francis Nataf to a staff member of the Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer Foundation. Below is his reply to the criticisms that were made in Nataf's review. 

The reviewer of the Haberman edition of the Hirsch Chumash criticized three points: 
1. Bereshis 25:27. The reviewer feels Levy is more correct in saying "not so to." However, the German states "nicht sowohl...aber" which in 19th Century German means "not only...but" as Haberman has. 

2. Bereshis 37:1-2. The reviewer feels Levy is more correct with "his vanity." However, the German states "auch Eitelkeit" which in this context is better translated as Haberman does with "a touch of vanity." ..." continue reading

"The response - 

"Dear Shalom, 

I must admit to being a bit surprised by Prof. Levine's challenge to my review. As I will demonstrate, the claim that the new edition includes the omissions in the Levy edition is simply not true. Furthermore, the contention that whenever there is a difference in the two editions, the new edition is more faithful is, at the very least, highly questionable. 

Concerning the specific points that he makes: 1) Regarding the use of the nicht sowohl... aber, Levine claims that the 19th century usage is different than contemporary usage, I will have to trust him on that, as this is beyond my expertise and I don't have the time to research the claim. 2) As far as the use of the word auch, it seems clear to me that it is not qualifying the term vanity as Levine would claim but rather, as Levy has it, indicating that vanity is not the only reason that Yosef is drawn to the sons of the maidservants. 3) As for the contention that Rav Hirsch never used the term new ..."  continue reading

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