כל ת”ח שאומרים דבר שמועה מפיו בעולם הזה שפתותיו דובבות בקבר
Whenever we say a teaching from the mouth of a [deceased] Torah scholar in this world, his lips move in the grave.
Rabbi Shraga Silverstein was a rabbi, author and translator. He taught in universities and yeshivot in both Israel and the U.S. He translated numerous books, including well-known editions of Moshe Chayim Luzzatto’s Mesilat Yesharim and Da’at Tevunot, and authored three books himself before passing away in Jerusalem last year. In addition to his tremendous literary legacy, he left a large number of unpublished books at the time of his passing.
Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Rabbi Shraga Silverstein zt”l Library — a living memorial to a man who brought Torah to so many. With the help of his family, all of Rabbi Silverstein’s self-published and unpublished works (and some of his published works) will be added to this library with a CC-BY license. We have already started publishing these translations and will keep the library updated as we add more. To start, we’d like to highlight a few of the translations you can read right now.
Mekhilta is a Tana’itic Midrash Halachah from the school of Rabbi Yishmael on Sefer Shemot. Although categorized as Midrash Halachah, it contains extensive passages of Aggadah.
Mishnah with Ovadia M’Bartenura [link]
Rav Ovadia M’Bartenura, also known simply as the Bartenura, is one of the primary commentaries on the Mishnah. It is a straightforward explanation of the mishnah and is meant to clarify what is being said. The commentary is meant to be added to the text of the mishnah and the additional text helps to explain the mishnah. Rabbi Silverstein has done a mishnah translation with Bartenura’s commentary written into the text to make a very understandable mishnah. He has done all of seders Moed, Nashim, and Nezikin as well as masechet Berakhot.
Derashot HaRan [link]
Derashot HaRan is a philosophic work by the great 14th century Spanish talmudist and halachic master, Rabbi Nissim ben Reuven Gerondi, or the “Ran.” The work consists of 12 derashot, probably publicly delivered, and, unusually, not composed in reaction to the Maimonidean philosophical legacy,
The Rashi Chumash is a new Torah translation by Rabbi Silverstein that includes Rashi’s commentary written right into the text. Rashi’s comments are set off with brackets so you know whether you’re looking at Torah text or Rashi’s interpretation.
Similar to the Rashi Chumash, this is a new translation of Ketuvim by Rabbi Silverstein that includes Rashi’s commentary written right into the text. As with the Rashi Chumash cited above, Rashi’s comments in this work are set off with brackets so you know whether you’re looking at Tanach text or Rashi’s interpretation.
In the next few months, we hope to add Sifra, Sifrei Bamidbar, and Sifrei Devarim, all bilingual with the translation of Rabbi Silverstein, to the website.