By Aaron W. Hughes
Jews from every age have translated the Bible for his or her specific occasions and wishes, yet what does the act of translation suggest? Aaron W. Hughes believes translation has profound implications for Jewish id. the discovery of Jewish id provides the 1st sustained research of Bible translation and its influence on Jewish philosophy from the medieval interval to the twentieth century. Hughes examines probably the most very important Jewish thinkers—Saadya Gaon, Moses ibn Ezra, Maimonides, Judah Messer Leon, Moses Mendelssohn, Martin Buber, and Franz Rosenzweig—and their paintings on biblical narrative, to appreciate how linguistic and conceptual idioms switch and turn into rules concerning the self. The philosophical matters at the back of Bible translation, in response to Hughes, are inseparable from extra common units of questions that impact Jewish existence and learning.
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Additional info for The Invention of Jewish Identity: Bible, Philosophy, and the Art of Translation
Is there an inverse relationship between subaltern status on the one hand and translation on the other? I trust that the answers to such questions will contribute to our appreciation and further understanding of Jewish philosophical writings. 44 These include, but are certainly not limited to, dialogues, biblical commentaries, encyclopedias, and philosophical literature. To this list, I contend, must be added Bible translations. All the individuals who are the subject of this study were certainly aware of the literary and aesthetic codes that determined artistic production in their respective cultures.
If so, what happens to the original language of revelation? How does one create the old in the new, maintain the particular in light of the universal? If translation forges links between the past and the present, the Hebraic and non-Hebraic, it also threatens to undermine their points of contact, revealing the fragility of using one language to express the contents of another. The creation of the one thus threatens the other with erasure. These questions, perhaps more theoretical and meta-historical than the ones Friedrich envisaged above, must also form part of our analysis.
And (2) what happens when we have accessed the truth behind the text, something that virtually all the thinkers in this study claimed to have done? The desire to overcome this aporia, to unleash the eternal features of the Torah’s nonlanguage that have become embedded in the quotidian nature of human language, makes translation necessary for all these individuals. Although this principle may be framed somewhat differently by each of these thinkers, informing their desire to translate in one way or another was the notion that the translative act is the attempt to get behind language in order to access something of nonlanguage.