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Recommended English Translations of the Torah

Part of the The Torah For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Jewish life is an immersion into the Torah (Five Books of Moses) and the literature the Torah has inspired. The original language of the Torah is Hebrew, and because most people today don't read Hebrew many English translations of the Torah are available, like these notable translations:

  • The Living Torah by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan: This is the most readable of all translations, and its brief footnotes are always illuminating. It isn't a precise, literal translation, but rather a translation that focuses on the ways in which the great Jewish sages have traditionally understood the Torah text.

  • The Chumash: The Gutnick Edition: It's filled with rich insights from classic Jewish commentators and from a brilliant modern spiritual master known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

  • The Chumash: The Stone Edition: This translation has become the standard edition found in most traditional synagogues throughout the world, and for good reason. It's easy to read and the commentaries, which make up half of this volume, are selections from the most authoritative Torah sages throughout Jewish history.

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