Friday, April 24, 2015

Bald Spots on Clothing

The Torah portion that will be read in many synagogues tomorrow is Parashat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1 - 13:59). A literal translation of the end of Leviticus 13:55 is:

It shall be consumed in fire; it is an erosion, whether on its back bald spot (קרחתו) or its front bald spot (גבחתו).

Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber wrote:

I first noticed this problem a few years ago when I was learning שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום with the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Hebrew text) as my preferred translation. I was oblivious to the problem with the MT (Masoretic Text – Hebrew), but noticed the fact that the Greek was unlike the Hebrew. It was only when I compared the two, it struck me that the Hebrew made no sense. I must have read the parasha over 100 times, and certainly had read Onkelos (an interpretation of the Torah) and Rashi (a commentary), both of whom creatively translate the phrase… and yet, it never clicked.  That Shabbat I turned to the person sitting behind me (an Israeli and amateur Bible scholar) and asked him what he thinks the verse means. He looked at it, thought for a moment, and said, this makes no sense. I then told him what the LXX said and he smiled and said: `So it’s a typo.’”

Read Rabbi Farber’s article about correcting the typo at --

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