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Adin Steinsaltz and Tzvi Hersh Weinreb on the Koren English Talmud

June 22, 2012

Nachum Segal’s JM in the AM radio show on WFMU had a nearly hour-long interview with Adin Steinsaltz, the translator of the (Hebrew) Steinsaltz Talmud, and Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the general editor of the Koren (English) Steinsaltz Talmud on June 12.  Lots of interesting stuff.

One part I enjoyed was Steinsaltz’s discussion of why he didn’t like the Random House translation (he felt that it was too comfortable, and would not inspire serious study) or Weinreb’s discussion of the merits of making notes in religious books.

There is also some discussion of translation philosophy (HT Gil Student): 

Every translation is to some extent a commentary.[…] However, I think a good translator has to know not to give too much of his own ideology or his own commentary. Commentary is necessary to explain the text but a good translator gives over the text, the flavor of the text, with just enough extra commentary to make it clear and the rest is up to the student. What we’ve tried to do in this whole project is to allow the student to study and ask. It’s designed to provoke discussion and to provoke questions, not to provide answers but to open things up.

You can listen to the interview here in Real Audio.  Here is an MP3 version of the radio interview.

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