web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Home » Blogs » DovBear »

Lost in Targum?

Chief Rabbi Lau the Younger is not going to be big on reinterpreting traditional Jewish sources to meet contemporary problems.
By:
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Guest post by Y. Bloch

I found myself in Modiin this Shabbat, and randomly picking a synagogue (from four on the street) this morning, I had the pleasure of praying with our brand-new Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau. He spoke before the Torah reading, asking the question, “Why was Levi so special before they killed all those worshipers of the Golden Calf at Sinai?” The answer he discovered, after many years of searching, was that of the “Godly sage Yonatan ben Uzziel,” in his Targum on Gen. 32:25. See, Jacob promised to tithe everything, and Levi is the tenth son. If you subtract the firstborns of each mother. And count Benjamin, who wasn’t even conceived yet. And start counting again when you run out of sons until you get to ten. Which is not how tithing works, even if we did tithe children.

Um, OK. The Talmud (Megilla 3a) does make clear that YbU only translated the Prophets, while Onkelos is the one who translated the Torah into Aramaic. Yes, alternative Targumim existed, a number of which were known as Targum Yerushalmi, abbreviated TY, which some printer took for Targum Yonatan, since YbU was known as a translator. That’s why the academics call it Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, or Pasevdo Yonatan, as Hebrew-speakers pronounce it.

So am I alone in thinking Chief Rabbi Lau the Younger is not going to be big on reinterpreting traditional Jewish sources to meet contemporary problems?

Regardless, he seems like a really nice guy. He even apologized to the bar mitzva boy for making him sit through this speech before he read his portion. I guess that’s what’s really important. 

Visit DovBear.

About the Author: DovBear blogs at: DovBear. For lack of a better metaphor, please consider this blog a very large shabbos table, where we sit together and discuss the parsha, the news, and other events of the day. Sometimes we yell, often we gossip, and, once in a while, the talk turns salacious. Our arguments are lively, but at the end of the day, its all just talk. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Lost in Targum?”

  1. If you were serious when you stated:"Chief Rabbi Lau the Younger is not going to be big on reinterpreting traditional Jewish sources to meet contemporary problems "…. I fear that rather than attracting new and younger blood – as well as KEEPING the younger members already on board – (keeping the future bright and growing)…it will send the message that he is content to deliberately choose to remain in the 11th C. IF in fact new interpretations could be tweaked….that would allow understandings with a 21st C experience….it would be much more realistic, acceptable and embracing. You can only keep computers and cell phones and technology at bay for so long…..not finding a 21 C solution to agunahs is abominable. All areas of Jewish life that COULD be revisited with possible newer interpretations could only be helpful to our overall cause … to survive in great enough numbers to maintain our beloved Judaism.

    While all those over 40 maybe content with the status quo…..we must consider the 16-23 year old who are definitely of the 21st C….and are part and parcel of the technology, social issues, education, training, employment, and yet to decide their own path!

    Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs

  2. Yossie Bloch says:

    It has frightened me that the RCA and CER have declared their fealty to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, which does not bode well for the future. However, combining the two offices of Ashkenazic and Sephardic CRs would be a start.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Republican Sen. Kirk at Senate debate on pro-sanctions amendment.
Senate Warns Obama by 100-0 Vote for Pro-Sanctions Amendment
Latest Blogs Stories
The Dimona nuclear reactor dome. Iran has been using Israel's reluctance to join the NPT to escape criticism of its own program.

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

JB Flag

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

HarHabayitwDome.jpg

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

Doug Goldstein

Why do people feel the need to check their email 50X a day, constantly dipping in & out of Facebook?

Betar is the world-wide Zionist youth movement that refuses to be silent, and as our founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote: “Silence is despicable.”

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Moshe’s the 1st family member in thousands of years to have the honor of serving in a Jewish army

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

US official interference in Israel’s Elections is not only immoral but may be illegal under US law.

The greatest thing about leaving Israel is the joy in returning, hearing/seeing/smelling coming home

I never felt an election resonate so much; I had true existential fear that my candidate might lose

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

How can you turn your passion into your business? How can you build your business around your life?

Politicians have their own egos as priority, not the good of the country nor the will of the people

I might have to “reassess” my position on President Obama if his “new positions and comments” on Israel don’t match his pre-election statements.

Find out about peak oil and how the production & sale of cheap oil has affected other oil sources

More Articles from DovBear

All groups have a mix of both good and bad people; it’s the ratio that differentiates us.

haredi protest with hat

Those who live lives of no sports, entertainment, or outdoor activities take what they can get.

Here is why opponents of R Shteinman think you should oppose him too.

Bring the professor and tell him off in a way the students can respect and understand.

This reduces the halachic process to an entirely ad hoc system.

Saul is neither the first nor the last of the wolf pack to unite the tribes.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews participate in Daf Yomi at some point.

Sinai is not history, Sinai is a happening.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/dovbear/lost-in-targum/2013/11/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: