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Jewish Leaders in Philadelphia Dedicate New Translation of Torah

A total of 34,000 requests has been received for the new translation of the Pentateuch, the first five Books of the Bible, Edwin Wolf 2nd, chairman of the publication committee of the Jewish Publication Society, reported today at dedication ceremonies here for the translation. A first printing of 50,000 copies will be released to the public Monday.

As part of the ceremony, copies of the first edition were presented to Sol Satinsky, president of the Jewish Publication Society, and to Judge Louis E. Levinthal, honorary president, by Joseph M. First, a member of the Society’s board of trustees. The new translation will be offered by the Book of the Month Club.

Mr. Satinsky, commenting on negative reactions to the new translation, said that “it is to be hoped that those few individuals who saw fit, prior to the publication of this historic new translation, to voice criticisms before they had seen the text, will now read it and see for themselves how faithfully this translation adheres to the letter, the meaning and the spirit of the traditional Holy Scriptures.”

It was announced that Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg will be the guest speaker at a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on February 10 to introduce the new translation.

(The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada issued a statement in New York today declaring that the new English translation of the Pentateuch “has the status of books of heresy which one is not allowed to read, not to propagate.” The statement said that the new translation is “a detriment to Jewish religious life” and “a misrepresentation of the Torah.”)

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