If you’ve ever studied Talmud from the traditional Vilna Shas layout, you’ve probably noticed or taken advantage of the Masoret haShas in the margins. Originally compiled by Joshua Boaz ben Simon Baruch in the sixteenth century, Masoret haShas are notes and cross references on the side of the page, directing readers to related passages found elsewhere in the Talmud. It was an immense work that religious scholars have added to over the centuries. The William Davidson Talmud has our own take on Masoret haShas, finding and building over 50,000 textual links. And while the standard Masoret haShas connects different Talmudic texts, ours takes advantage of Sefaria’s library to create something new: connections between the Talmud and other texts as well, including nine major Midrashic works.
More than fifty years ago, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel took it upon himself to make the Talmud, the central text of Jewish life, available to all. In 1965, he began translating the 37 tractates of the Talmud from ancient Aramaic into Modern Hebrew, with an English translation published in the Koren Talmud Bavli Noé Edition. Ninety percent of the world’s Jewish population speaks English or Hebrew as a first language, so making the Talmud intelligible in these two languages is a colossal achievement, but until now, this precious content was only available to those with access to a physical volume. Today, Sefaria is excited and humbled to announce the release of The William Davidson Talmud, a free digital edition of the Babylonian Talmud with parallel translations, interlinked to major commentaries, biblical citations, Midrash, Kabbalah, Halakhah, and an ever-growing library of Jewish texts.
It’s been a while since we last updated you. Hopefully you’ve all been making use of our updates and notifications page! Here is a list of everything we’ve added to our library since mid-September when we last updated you:
Search for “Torah” on the iOS App Store. Go ahead – we’ll wait.
We add new texts and commentaries to the Sefaria library several times a week. To make it easier to find out what’s new, we updated the notifications feed to include alerts when updates are made to the library. This feed also alerts you when someone “likes” your source sheet or when someone you follow posts a new source sheet.