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Press - December 27th 2010

Massive Talmudic Research Project to go Live on the Internet

December 27th, 2010 – Jerusalem

Massive Talmudic research

(Bologna - Archivio di Stato Fr. ebr. 205: Babylonian Talmud: Shabbat, 74a-74b, 76b-77a)

CDI Systems and The Saul Lieberman Institute of Talmudic Research of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America have announced an historic endeavor to bring the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Talmud Text Databank to the Internet. The Databank integrates, in digital text format, all of the surviving manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud and first printed editions, thus facilitating new forms of analysis, study and interpretation. This new tool will enable researchers worldwide to perform sophisticated in-depth searches on the vast corpus of primary textual witnesses, to collate and assess variant readings of particular passages and to examine specific readings in the context of their original manuscript sources.

Professor Shamma Friedman, founding director of the Lieberman Institute, had remarked: "The CD version of the Talmud Text Databank has already had a powerful impact on the scholarly world. Now, making the database available on the Web will enable reaching a much larger usership."

“We are happy to welcome this project on board,” said CDI System’s CEO, Itzhak Levit. “With the success we have seen already from other projects related to Jewish resources such as the Bar Ilan University Responsa Project- the Talmud Text Database is a natural fit.”

The new online collection will encompass all primary textual witnesses of the Babylonian Talmud, including the manuscripts of the tractates of the Babylonian Talmud of Oriental, Ashkenazic, Sephardic, or Yemenite provenance, and first printed editions. It will include hundreds of Cairo Geniza and European binding fragments of the Babylonian Talmud, many as both text and digital image. The Online Talmud Text Databank will enable meeting scholarly standards for study and research of the Talmud – considered the defining document of Judaism from its promulgation to the present, also much found on today's academic agenda, and a prime source for a range of fields relating to Late Antiquity.

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