why do you get arichus yomim for doing targum?
Reuven Kasierer, silver spring, USA
A suggestion. The idea of Targum is to bring the Kedushah of the Torah down from Lashon Kodesh which is otherworldly into the mundane language of this world. Someone who can do this shows that he is worthy of days on this earth for he will be anle to elevate the mundane. Just a thought.
The reward is for learning Torah Lishmah, as the Gemara learns from "Orech Yamim bi'Yeminah" (Shabbos ). If a person learns the Torah in order to understand it fuly and perform its Mitzvos,he is learning Lishmah. When one reviews the material twice, and then reads the Targum once (to ensure that he understands the meaning of the text fully), he is studying Lishmah.
Rav Elozor Moshe Horowitz, in his Hagahos here, adds that the Gemar later (55b) tells us taht if a person is called toread from the Torah and does not rise to read, his days will be shortened. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 139:1) tells us that where it is customary for the person that is given an Aliyah to read from the Torah himself, and he did not yet read over the material a number of times (to become proficient in reading it), he should not rise to read.
The purpose of Shenayim Mikra is to gain proficiency of the text before the Torah is read publicly. By doing so he will not have to turn down an Aliyah to the Torah, and therefore instead of having shortened days, his days will be lengthened.
Does reading the mikra 2x with an English translation (ex. Artscroll or Tanach Koren w/ English) count?
HaRav Moshe Sternbuch,shlit'a, said that since Targum was given at Sinai (Megilah 3a), one should read the actual Targum, even if one does not understand it. However, Rav Sternbuch added, one should also read an English translation if, without it, he does not understand the Pesukim. It is best, therefore, to read both.