Status Report: Tanach

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of posts on the status of various parts of Sefaria. First up is the book that started it all - the Tanach. After much consideration, we decided to use the Leningrad Codex for Sefaria’s Tanach text. Simply put, there is no better complete, free, digital text that we can use. The Leningrad Codex is one of the world’s oldest Tanach manuscripts. While the Aleppo Codex is considered more authoritative, the tragic destruction of parts of the Aleppo Codex have left the Leningrad codex as the oldest complete copy of the Tanach. Those who want can read about the Leningrad Codex from USC’s West Semitic Research Project.

The English text we use is the JPS 1917 translation. The JPS translation has been in the public domain for some time, and is available in a number of places. We acquired our copy from JPS (who has graciously digitized the original which was clearly not done on a computer) via the open siddur project, who formatted it for easy importing into our system. Other than fixing obvious typos (like my personal favorite), we have left the translation alone and kept it as-is because we believe it is of historical interest, even if the language is far from modern. One of the nice features of Sefaria is our ability to support multiple simultaneous translations. Some contributors have already begun the process of taking the JPS translation and modernizing the language.

We have the two major Aramaic targumim on Torah:

We have ten of the major Torah commentaries (all in Hebrew)

We also have the following Navi commentaries:

And the following commentaries on Ketuvim

Yes, a giant chart is clearly called for and coming soon.

In the next few months, we hope to be adding the following commentaries:

  • Avi Ezer (commentary on Ibn Ezra) on Torah
  • Rabbeinu Bahye on Torah
  • Hizkuni on Torah
  • HaEmek Davar by the Netziv on Torah
  • Akeidat Yitzchak by Isaac ben Moses Arama on Torah
  • Ralbag on the five megillot