Thursday, 9 February 2017

Steinsaltz Talmud - Online - Absolutely FREE!



The Talmud - the most basic Jewish text - save for the Tanach (the 24 books of the Written Torah.) With 2711 pages to get through, it is by no means a fast read - but it's much more than that of course. It's about understanding the actual words - for the most part Aramaic. It's about understanding the people who lived then - in those days, the giants they were - and the people they interacted with. It's about understanding Jewish law - Halachah! It's about journeying into some of the most secret places of the universe - as one studies the Aggadata - the "stories" included therein.

Just a few decades ago, it was a book only for those who had spent some time actually learning how to learn. For those who had never had such an opportunity, they were confined to listening to the Rabbi and to his Shiurim (lessons). I recall well the days of the Soncino translation of the Talmud (now available in PDF format online FREE or directly online FREE here, or in another version with option to hear the pages being read aloud!) and how much I longed to own a full edition - which I never actually managed to attain (Today my dream is owning the Oz VeHadar edition or if I ever managed - the entire Metivta set)! 

Just over two decades ago, Artscroll began the process of translating the Talmud with a most novel approach - by making the commentary a far more comprehensive one than had ever been attempted before. Finally - one could approach the page even on one's own! Well - it's not like a teacher isn't needed, but for the most part, anyone wanting to pursue his studies was able to. With fine introductions, a pleasant translation - with missing words filled in - together with translations of major commentaries brought in the notes - it was really something special. Indeed, it is really something special!

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz had started his project of making the Talmud easy to understand by offering a Hebrew only edition which was only recently completed after decades of work! Another awesome work! His biggest project yet was taking the Hebrew and making it accessible to the English speaking world. It's a beautiful work, including a flowing commentary and attractive pictures!

But today - the whole project has taken on another level - with his entire work now available online absolutely FREE! It doesn't include all the notes or beautiful pictures you'll get in the actual books (and in any case, you can't study from the online version on Shabbat!) but for online learning, this is one of the most superb projects currently available!

You really need to see it, and if you haven't yet started studying Talmud - get going!!! There is a world of knowledge, life, Torah, growth, history, Jewish law and just about anything you can imagine - waiting for you! If you're struggling and looking for an online teacher, do be in touch with me, and we can learn from the Steinsaltz edition together! You don't even need to purchase your book either - it's all available free!

For more information about online learning with Skype and webcam, see my main website www.lovingkindness.co and select the Learn Torah menu to see what's available, or alternatively the Torah Lessons - Online and In-Person button!

So head along to www.sefaria.org TODAY - and check out the new online edition which you can find right here!

Eliyahu Shear (Rabbi)
Co-director Chessed Ve'Emet

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