Ki Tavo: Lost (and Found) in Translation



Have you ever used Google Translate? A marvelous invention, it bridges the gaps between people who speak different tongues – it takes a Hebrew webpage and turns it into English, or a Spanish one into Greek.

The problem with Google Translate is that it translates the text but loses most of the context. That doesn’t seem so marvelous – too much is lost in the translation.

And that brings us to a question about various religious denominations: Which is genuine, and which is a weak imitation of the original whose message is somehow lost in translation?

Biblically speaking, we have two important translation events: 1) When Moses commands the people to write the entire Torah on twelve massive stones once they enter into the Promised Land and to do so in seventy languages! 2) When King Ptolemy commissions a group of sages to translate the Torah into Greek.

The first translation episode is an instruction from God. The second is compared to the making of the Golden Calf. Which is it then – are translations good or bad?

Translations are bridges – some bridges are solid, others crumble and collapse.

The difference: the foundations upon which they are built.

Only a bridge built by God will connect the two sides; a bridge concocted by man will divide.

Some denominations may be founded upon weak bridges, but for sure your soul is founded upon the bridges built by the Divine – expansion bridges, if you will.


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