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WHAT DOES VADER'S CHESTPLATE SAY?

This is a question we've pondered a lot ourselves. We know it is in Hebrew, but can't really read it. It is even listed on the RASSM Newbie FAQ as a major point of question. People have their theories, but nobody has been able to decipher it. Who can help us? Who?

WHO?

Out of the West rides a lone Newbie named Anat! She speaks Hebrew and gives her best shot at translating it! Here, posted in it's entirety, is her interesting attempt at a translation:


Being an obedient Newbie ('What is thy bidding my master') I've read the FAQ (July 30th) and came across the following:

FAQ: "26. What does the Hebrew lettering on Darth Vader's chest-plate mean?
Answer: The chest-plate can be seen at www.umr.edu/~hanlon/picpage.htm

Of course I rushed to explore that site!! Hebrew lettering on "Papa" s chest-plate !? [ If my *real* father knew who I soo fondly call "papa" ;) ]

FAQ: "The readers of rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc have been researching this topic."

Hope I wont be 'flamed' for bringing it all up again, but I think I have a - significant contribution, that may shed some light on this matter.. Especially as Hebrew is my first language!

FAQ:"The readers believe that it is indeed Hebrew lettering."

Indeed it is

FAQ: "Some possible translations are "until he won" (where 'won' means a prize or money as opposed to a victory)"

Well, roughly

FAQ:" or "until a return""

Incorrect !!!

FAQ: "David Fleischer recently wrote in saying that - The first line may be "Or, and his works","

Not entirely correct.

FAQ:" the second may be "which will move","

?????????????????????????????????????

FAQ: "and the third may be "until he has won"."

Well, this IS true - from a certain point of view :)

These lines (which, together form ONE sentence BTW), are written in an ancient (Or Biblical if you like) Style / Syntax, as opposed to Modern Hebrew Syntax. In Hebrew (Like in many other languages, both modern and ancient), Words often have several meanings - (Regardless of the style, grammar, or syntax in which they are used). These are then defined according to the context of the sentence . Therefore, translating these lines can be tricky.. With that in mind ;) I would suggest the following translation:

The First Line -

(Phonetically pronounced - Ein Maasav)

Means -

His deeds (and not works) will not

The Second Line - this is a difficult one:

To begin with it is placed up-side down! I think it is partially covered (i.e. the letters are partially cut), I think it is misspelled as well (That is if I guessed it right in the first place!) Anyhow, IMHO, this line means -

Be forgiven

(Phonetically pronounced - Nisslachim)

And The Third Line

(Phonetically pronounced - Aad shezacha) Means -

Until he merits (and not won)

Put together, the sentence reads -

" His deeds will not be forgiven, until he merits"

Which, not only makes MUCH more sense (IMHO), but also sounds very familiar. I know I've herd it before, but for the life of me I just cannot remember where. At first I thought it may be part of the prayers or hymns of the Jewish - Day of Atonement service. I've look it up (read the whole thing) and it's not in there. Then I thought it might be mentioned in the holy scriptures - in one of the books that deals with repentant - Palms / Proverbs / Ecclesiastes.. (May be the book of prophets as well?)

As I'm not orthodox - my knowledge of the old testament does not go beyond basic (in Jewish terms). My knowledge of the new testament is probably less then basic - Anyone out there care to have a go? It just might be in there ( in an English version of course! ) Im currently researching these venues. I havent found anything yet.. But you'll be the first to know if I do!

[ BTW, someone at work was very impressed with my - religious devotion - If only they knew :D ]

The more interesting aspect of this mystery chest-plate is - Who put it there? And why? Is it meant to be part of the story? Or just an anecdote?

Another related issue is the upside-down line / word... In the Kabala (=Jewish mysticism) words are very powerful. Perhaps placing a word upside-down can reverse its meaning? (I'm not an expert in 'Kabala' either).

If this is the case, does the chest-plate convey some kind of prophecy or 'curse' placed by - say - Yoda, or Ben - only to be 'reversed' by our beloved Palpy? (Wild speculation..)

Or may be its just a fluke? May be the costume department just got it wrong, by mistake? ;) [Someone that knew nothing of the hidden meaning - in these odd Hebrew symbols (regarding them as just an exotic font) accidentally placed it upside-down..]

Coincidence? I think not!

In any case - food for thought..

-anat


Anat wrote us and followed up with this:

I accidentally used the word Nisslachim instead of Nimchalim ... They ARE synonymous words ( I was probably thinking in Hebrew - Consequently using the more modern version of the same word) .

They both mean - be forgiven - so I did not mislead you in that sense - but should you suddenly have an urge to pronounce that sentence phonetically... ;)

Well, its only fair to give you the correct version/ pronunciation... So, the sentence is pronounced -

Ein MaaSaV NimChaLim (!) Aad SheZaCha

- Meaning -

His deeds will not be forgiven until he merits.

May the Force be with you,

Anat

 

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