Bamidbar 15:38

Question

Bamidbar 15:38 says, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue”

However in the Hebrew this passage begins with “v’kiper hakohen al-kal adath b’ney Yis’ra’El”. The word b’ney means sons, so how did it get translated to mean children? The word children indicates that Moshe was speaking to a crowd of not only males, but females as well. Is this a mistranslation or are there other passages in the Torah where the word b’ney in used in a similar manner?

, 3 years

Answers

  1. The term “Bnei Yisrael” is generic and, depending on the context, it can either be referring only to the male children or it can be referring to all of the children. In Hebrew the plural term of any word that includes both male and female is always said in the male. For example, “Ben” means son in Hebrew. But the plural form of “Bnei” can include daughters as well as sons.

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