Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Regarding Hebrew liturgy, Latin liturgy

At dinner Sunday night a friend and I were discussing the relative merits of reciting the Jewish high holiday liturgy in Hebrew vs. English. My bias is towards recitation in Hebrew, because the Hebrew original is so beautiful and so vastly superior to the English version. I think English translations and transliterations should be included on the same page for reference, but I don't like synagogue readin of the English translations - so clumsy and awkward-sounding...

My friend was mentioning that people who know Latin say the same about the comparison between the Christian Latin liturgy, and today’s English version. This analogy hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s probably true. The best minds in the business put the Hebrew and the Latin liturgy together over hundreds of years. What makes us think that some obscure translator can get even close?


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