Monday, November 12, 2007

YOM does not mean DAY

The official view of the blog skeptics is that the word YOM as it appears in Genesis, means DAY, and any attempt to translate it differently is a kvetch and inadmissible. This, I must say, is precisely the same objection raised by Pablo Christiani during his famous disputation with the Ramban.

After the Ramban translated the word YOM as era (as part of his effort to prove, via Midrashim, that the Messiah had not yet arrived) Pablo accused the Rmaban of kvetching the meaning of the word YOM. To prove his point, Pablo brought in the first Jew he found on the street and asked him to define the word "YOM."
"It means DAY," said the Jew

"Ha Ha!" said Pablo.

Replied the Ramban: "My Lord King: This Jew is certainly a better judge of the matter than Pablo Christiani, but not better than I. The word YOM in scripture means TIME."
This view of the meaning of the word YOM was shared by Rashi, who on Gen 24:55 translates the word יָמִים as year.

[I recognize that this does not disprove the theory of evolution, nor does it prove the legitimacy of the Torah's account. I also recognize that the word in Berashis is YOM not יָמִים .]

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