"In many respects, the Talmud is considered as the most important book in Jewish culture and is the central pillar supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice of Jewish life..." Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz

The Steinsaltz Talmud

A page of "The Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud” Tractate Brachot page Beit Ayin-Alef

Body of Text
The original Talmudic text appears in the Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud edition in large, clearly visible fonts, with full vocalization and punctuation. Subjects are presented in separate paragraphs. The main interpretations of Rashi and Tosafot, found in every Talmud edition, are laid out on the internal side of the page, with Tosafot appearing in standard script and not in Rashi script, both fully punctuated. In this edition, each page of the traditional Shas Vilna edition (Romm Publishing, 1886) is divided into two pages, in order to maintain the standard page markings. The rearrangement of the text facilitates its fluent reading, enables readers to pronounce unfamiliar words, and orients them to discern among different debate sections - question and answer, excerpted sources, and debate/discussion conclusions.      

The Commentary 
The Rabbi’s monumental commentary appears on the external side of each page of the original Talmud. In addition to a translation of Aramaic into modern Hebrew, the commentary, which is integrated into the body of Talmudic text, clarifies the connection between sentences and paragraphs in the formal structure - frequently, these connections are based on logic unfamiliar to the modern reader. The commentary defines repeated technical terms, clarifying them on-topic. At the end of each paragraph is a condensed summary of the insights provided by the Talmud. This helps readers understand the discussion, the conclusions, and the opinions that were rejected.  A commentary appears at the beginning of each paragraph, clarifying the connection to the previous paragraph, decrypting the context as it flows.
Around the Page
Auxiliary and expansion sections are located on the sides of the page: 
  • "Personalities” section: Biographical profiles of the Talmudic sages.
  • "World” and "life” sections: Offer a great deal of information accompanied by illustrations and photos about life in the Talmudic era, including places, accessories and various terms mentioned in the text.
  • "Language” section: Provides etymology and definitions of words in the body of the text.
  • "Versions” section:  Displayed on the outer part of the page, it comprises a comparison of textual variants of different manuscripts and printing houses.
  • "Non-Hebrew Rashi” section: Displays the translation of the non-Hebrew words that appear in the Rashi commentary.            

Introductions and Summaries
An introduction is included at the beginning of each chapter, providing important background information that is relevant to the topics under discussion. At the end of each chapter, a succinct summary is included, displaying all the contents of the chapter. 
Several indices are included at the end of each volume: An index of biblical verses, an index of supplementary topics, and an index of subjects discussed in each tractate.

Updated Editions
Over the years, additional editions of the Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud were published to provide solutions for needs of broader target audiences. 

1.Smaller Edition
This is the Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud, in a smaller, more easily-transportable version. The text is identical, in smaller font.

A page of the "Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud” in Vilna format, Tractate Brachot page Beit Ayin-Alef (IMAGE)

2.Vilna Edition
In this edition, a copy of the Gemara page of the Shas Vilna edition appears on one page, and the opposing page contains the commentary and the auxiliary sections. This edition is designed to enable reading and perusal of the original text in its traditional version. This edition is more accessible to those accustomed to the traditional edition yet unable to dedicate the time required to undertake studying in the original, Aramaic and non-elucidated text. 

The Steinsaltz Talmud