De Gruyter and Sefaria, the living library of Torah texts online, are cooperating to present the critical edition and English translation of the Jerusalem Talmud by Heinrich W. Guggenheimer in open access. In celebration of the last night of Hanukkah, readers can now freely access this edition of the Jerusalem Talmud on sefaria.org and on degruyter.com.
Sefaria is a non-profit organization assembling a free living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation. De Gruyter and Sefaria are making this critical edition of the Jerusalem Talmud digitally available for the first time.
The Talmud is the textual record of generations of rabbinic debate about law, philosophy, and biblical interpretation, compiled between the 3rd and 8th centuries and structured as commentary on the Mishnah with stories interwoven. It exists in two versions: the more commonly studied Babylonian Talmud was compiled in present-day Iraq, while the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in Israel.
The present edition of the Jerusalem Talmud is based on the Editio Princeps and existing manuscripts and was carefully edited, commented, and translated into English by Heinrich W. Guggenheimer. All 17 volumes were published within the series Studia Judaica between 1999 and 2015.
In addition to the digital open access version, De Gruyter has also published the first complete paperback edition of the Jerusalem Talmud, making it available for researchers as well as for students from school to university, in religious institutions, education centers, and other organizations of Jewish Learning.
“This release will change the way the Jerusalem Talmud is learned,” said Lev Israel, Chief Data Officer at Sefaria. “People who come to study and explore Judaism in the coming years and the coming generations will no longer look to the Jerusalem Talmud as an inaccessible or obscure book, but as something that is near at hand and that they can understand. All of us at Sefaria are grateful to De Gruyter for their vision and partnership in making Dr. Guggenheimer’s historic work available to all.”
“De Gruyter’s commitment to Open Access goes back more than 15 years. In Sefaria we have a strong partner who helps us make this important translation and commentary of the Jerusalem Talmud widely available, and reach an audience beyond academia. We are proud to be part of this project, where scholarship meets a living Jewish learning tradition,” added Manuela Gerlof, Vice President Humanities, De Gruyter.