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A History of German Jewish Bible Translation$
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Abigail Gillman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226477695

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226477862.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 October 2021

The Fourth Wave: Reimagining the German Jewish Bible

The Fourth Wave: Reimagining the German Jewish Bible

(p.197) Chapter Four The Fourth Wave: Reimagining the German Jewish Bible
A History of German Jewish Bible Translation

Abigail Gillman

University of Chicago Press

The three translators of the fourth wave believed that modern people’s relationship to the Bible, and to religion, had become reified, and that translation, undertaken in a modernist vein, could provoke new religiosity. They rejected the scholarly methods of their forerunners and also the axiom that a German Jewish translation had to be clear, correct, and beautiful. In Die fünf Bücher der Weisung, Buber and Rosenzweig deployed German to defamiliarize Hebrew scripture; to channel the voice beneath the written text; and to facilitate an intimate theological encounter. Bertha Pappenheim, social activist, pedagogue, and writer, began translating the Tsene-Rene, the medieval Yiddish Women’s Bible, into a folksy, Yiddish-inflected German. Pappenheim believed that the Bible ought to promote simple piety and ethical practice. Pappenheim was Buber's student and friend; she also lectured at Rosenzweig’s Lehrhaus. Proponents of the Jewish cultural renaissance, all three produced groundbreaking translations before turning to the Bible: The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln (Pappenheim); The Tales of Rabbi Nachman (Buber); and Ninety-Two Poems of Judah Halevi (Rosenzweig). In the face of manifold crises of the early twentieth century, these three thinkers took radical measures to insure Jewish survival and renewal.

Keywords:   Martin Buber, Bertha Pappenheim, Franz Rosenzweig, Jehuda Halevi, Zeenah u'Reenah, Die fünf Bücher der Weisung, Glückel of Hameln, Yiddish Women's Bible, Leitwort, Nachdichtung

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