Translate two Hebrew words #translation


Jx. Gx.
 

At the top of my ggf's tombstone are the words  ציון לנפש

I'm trying to get an appropriate and grammatically correct translation of these two words. I received two translations from another Jewish website and they both could fit in the context of a headstone, but they do not agree with each other. One translation seems to fit better with the rest of the tombstone inscription that speaks of my ggf as a devout practitioner and teacher of the Torah. But I want to be sure that translation is correct and conveys the right meaning.

Maybe the problem with the translations is because the original inscription does not include vowels and therefore one of the words is being confused with another Hebrew word.  A literal translation of the inscription might mean Zion to the soul. To me that would imply he was passionate about Zion. However, another person said it should be read as "Tsyun NOT Tsiyon and means "a monument, tombstone, a memorial sign." In that sense the two words would mean something like "A memorial to a (deceased) soul."

Thank you for your assistance.

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona, USA


Odeda Zlotnick
 

I have no doubt it's the latter intrerpretation.  Whoever suggested Zion may know how to read some Hebrew words, but is unfamiliar with the language and its grammar.
A "nefesh" in Hebrew in not a "soul" in the English sense of the word, it can also mean a "being" as in "human being" or person.  Thus what you have is a "marker to a being".
--
Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.


David Lewin
 

At 02:31 18/05/2021, Jx. Gx. wrote:
At the top of my ggf's tombstone are the words  ציון ×œ× ×¤×©

I'm trying to get an appropriate and grammatically correct translation of these two words. I received two translations from another Jewish website and they both could fit in the context of a headstone, but they do not agree with each other. One translation seems to fit better with the rest of the tombstone inscription that speaks of my ggf as a devout practitioner and teacher of the Torah. But I want to be sure that translation is correct and conveys the right meaning.

Maybe the problem with the translations is because the original inscription does not include vowels and therefore one of the words is being confused with another Hebrew word.  A literal translation of the inscription might mean Zion to the soul. To me that would imply he was passionate about Zion. However, another person said it should be read as "Tsyun NOT Tsiyon and means "a monument, tombstone, a memorial sign." In that sense the two words would mean something like "A memorial to a (deceased) soul."

Thank you for your assistance.

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona, USA


Tziyun lanefesh = literally recording for a soul
Any action performed to indicate the place of burial or to retain
the memory of the deceased

David Lewin
London

Search & Unite attempt to help locate people who, despite the passage of so many years since World War II, may still exist "out there".
We also assist in the process of re-possession of property in the Czech Republic and Israel.
See our Web pages at https://remember.org/unite/


Howard Orenstein
 

The Hebrew word is Tziyun (Ẓiyyun), as in:"Ẓiyyun le Nefesh Ḥayyah," novellæ on different Talmudic treatises, viz., Pesaḥim (1784), Berakot (1791), Beẓah (1799), the three republished together in 1824; "Dagul me-Rebabah" (1794), notes on the four ritual codices; "Ahabaṭ Ẓiyyon" (1827), addresses and sermons; "Doresh le-Ẓiyyon" (1827), Talmudic discussion.

The author of these works was Rabbi Ezekiel LANDAU: https://www.sefaria.org/person/Yehezkel%20Landau

Howard Orenstein, Ph.D.
McDaniel College
Westminster, MD 21157


seth@...
 

There is little doubt that the reference on your tombstone is to a word that means monument. It appears in The Book of Malachim II (King 2), Chapter 23.

An adequate English translation would be:

Then he said: 'What monument (Tsiyun) is that which I see' And the men of the city told him: 'It is the sepulcher of the man of G-d, who came from Judah…'

Also note, the word Zion (as in Zionism) is in Hebrew pronounced as Tsi’on (the last syllable ~as “on” in pion), while the Hebrew pronunciation of the word for monument (with the same Hebrew consonants, but different vowels) is pronounced Tsi’un (the last syllable ~as “oon” in saloon).

Seth Jacobson

Jerusalem