The Holy Language

By Dov Chaikin |

During World War II, some 30,000 Palestinian Jews volunteered for service in the British armed forces. [Incidentally, also a few hundred Arabs—but: “We are NOT Palestinians; we are Arabs!”] One of those Jewish volunteers was assigned to long-distance truck driving and often had a British Tommy (soldier) in the cab with him. One time his companion turned out to be a Bible-believer; they got into discussing topics from the Tanakh [the so-called Old Testament], the Jew offering his understanding from the perspective of the Hebrew original. At the end of the journey, the Briton exclaimed in astonishment: “I had no idea the Old Testament had been translated to Hebrew!”


“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the Lord [YHWH].’ So she named him Judah” (Genesis 29:35). To the best of my knowledge, this rendering is—with very few minor differences (e.g. ‘now’ in place of ‘this time’)—the universally accepted translation of this verse. It is my intention to highlight “this...

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