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Press - April 12th 2011

New Online Talmud Collection launched in Jerusalem

New Online Talmud Collection

(Prof. Friedman demonstrating the new web site at the JTS- Schocken Institute for Jewish Research)

Professor Friedman, Director of The Saul Lieberman Institute of Talmud Research, hosted the launch of the new Online Talmud Text Databank website, (http://www.lieberman-institute.com/). The event took place this April 12th at the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research in Jerusalem, attended by both scholars, academics, Talmudic scholars and the general public.

The Online Databank encompasses an extraordinary collection of virtually all primary textual witnesses (original documents) of the Babylonian Talmud, including: All full surviving manuscripts of Oriental, Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Yemenite provenance; Hundreds of complete manuscripts and first printed editions of the Babylonian Talmud, and over one thousand fragments from the Cairo and European archives- many as both texts and digital images. The collection is an invaluable tool for Talmudic Scholarship worldwide, geared towards students, teachers and academic institutions alike.

The Online Databank enables researchers to perform sophisticated searches and analyses on the vast corpus, to assess variant readings of specific passages and to examine them in the context of their original manuscript sources. Additionally it includes a unique study by Mr. Yisrael Dubitsky, which, for the first time, delineates all of the earliest printed editions of [tractates of] the Babylonian Talmud.

Prof. Shamma Friedman, who heads the Lieberman Institute and recently won the Landau Prize for Rabbinic Literature and the Talmud period, said "launching the online version will allow the use of this important collection by thousands of researchers the world over".

The Online Databank was built and operated on CDI Systems NetIS software platform. CDI also operates and hosts other well-known websites in the Jewish academic world such as The Bar Ilan Online Responsa Project (http://www.responsa.co.il/) and The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 (www.hebrew-bibliography.com).

Mr. Itzhak Levit, CDI Systems’ CEO, who also spoke at the event, added, “We live in very exciting times when the genius of yesterday’s forefather’s Talmudic minds combine with the brilliance of their children of today’s brilliant technology to create such important tools such as the Online Databank".

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