Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav

What is the Hebrew for “Everything in this world is by the grace of the God”?

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The trick with such translations is not to translate literally, as that often results in a rhythmically awkward or unwieldy expression, but to craft a suitably poetic equivalent.

One method is to use the template of a similar saying, such as the well known phrase by Reb Nachman of Breslov: cl hyolm culo gwr xr mad*

  • Phonetically: Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzar méod
  • In Square Hebrew script: כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאד
  • Translation: ‘The entire world is but a narrow bridge’

Also, there are only certain ways in which the expression by the grace of God can and should be rendered in Hebrew: one is bksdi hal*

  • Phonetically: beḥasdei ha’El
  • In Square Hebrew script: בחסדי האל
  • Translation: ‘by the graces of the God’

the other—more observant—wording is bksdi wmiim*

  • Phonetically: beḥasdei shamayim
  • In Square Hebrew script: בחסדי שמיים
  • Lit. translation: ‘by the graces of the heavens’

I would be inclined toward the latter, as it scans better. Hence: cl hyolm culo hua bksdi wmiim*

  • Phonetically: kol ha’olam kulo beḥasdei shamayim
  • In Square Hebrew script: כל העולם כולו הוא בחסדי שמיים

Lit. translation:  ‘The entire world is by the grace of the heavens’

If the emphasis is to be placed on the things within the world, rather than the world as a whole, I would take another tack: cl wnbra qiim bzcut hbora*

  • Phonetically: kol shénivra qayam bzkhut haboré
  • In Square Hebrew script: כל שנברא קיים בזכות הבורא
  • Translation: ‘Everything that has been created exists thanks to the Creator’

Take your pick.

*For the benefit of non-Hebrew readers, all asterisked texts are in SimHebrew (simulated Hebrew). 


Author: יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav

Hebrew-English translator, editor, author. מתרגם עברית–אנגלית, עורך באנגלית, וסופר.

One thought on “What is the Hebrew for “Everything in this world is by the grace of the God”?

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