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March-April: New Books

  • Radak on Bereshit in English (from the Urim deal – this was the last one to get finished)

Rabbi David Kimhi was a 12th and 13th century rabbi and grammarian. Although most of his work and commentaries focus on language and grammar, his commentary on Bereshit is more philosophical.

  • Yizkor in Hebrew with a new English translation by Rb. Francis Nataf.

Yizkor is the traditional prayer said in memory of the deceased. In modern times new Yizkor prayers have been added for holocaust victims, soldiers, and others. We’ve added both the traditional prayers said for relatives as well as some of the more modern ones. All of them have also been translated by Rb. Francis Nataf.

Rabbeinu Yonah wrote this treatise to discuss the laws of Shechita. He discusses how the shochet must constantly examine the knife being used, and how to check the lungs on the animal in question. It is cited often in later halachic sources. This work was OCRed by a volunteer – if you would like to volunteer to do similar work, please let us know.

A few weeks before Pesach we released the Sefaria Haggadah, complete with English and Hebrew text, links to other relevant sources, and eight commentaries. See the full release announcement for details.

Orot (“lights”) is a philosophical work by Rav Kook. Born in Latvia, Rav Kook moved to the land of Israel in 1904, and eventually became the first chief rabbi of Israel (then Mandatory Palestine), the founder of Yeshiva Mercaz Harav, and one of the major Jewish philosophers of the last 200 years. Orot is his major philosophical work, and is still highly regarded. His writing are often referred to in Israel as the “white shas” due to their white covers with a simple green border, and no self respecting Dati-Leumi (Religious-Zionist) household is without one.

Rashbam was one of Rashi’s grandsons. He wrote a commentary on the tenth chapter of Pesachim (this is the chapter which explains the Pesach seder), which is printed in the standard Vilna edition of the Talmud.

The Maharsha wrote two commentaries on the Talmud – one on it’s laws (chidushei halachot) and one on it’s midrashic sections (chidushei aggadot). They are both printed in the back if the standard Vilna edition of the Shas. Sefaria has OCRed them in their entirety, but for technical reasons we can’t begin adding them until we’ve completed the process of double checking all the Rashi and Tosafot comments on a masechet. We did Taanit first, and will start adding the rest as we finish each masechet.

The Netziv was a 19th century Rosh Yeshiva of the famed Volozhin Yeshiva. His tenure there lasted almost 40 years. His Torah commentary supports a more traditional method of approaching the text than what some of his contemporaries supported. Bereshit, Shemot, and Vayikra are up now, we hope to have the rest of his commentary on Torah up in the coming months.

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