"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… No other book has had such an influence on the course of Jewish lives… The Talmud comprises a treasure-trove of Jewish wisdom of the people of Israel for thousands of years, forming an amalgam of law, legend, and philosophy, a blend of unique logic and shrewd pragmatism, of history and science, anecdotes and humor...” - Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud
The gates of the Talmud are reopened.
The Rabbi gives the President of the State of Israel, Zalman Shazar the first volume of "The Steinsaltz Talmud.” (IMAGE on website) Center - Knesset Chairman, Kadish Luz. Right - the Rabbi’s father, Avraham Moshe Steinsaltz (1967)
Despite its key role in Jewish culture and heritage, the Talmud is impenetrable to most modern readers. Anyone trying to delve into the sea of the Talmud has to face Aramaic text, along with complex, discursive dialogues comprised of questions, answers, excerpts and extensive discussions all void of punctuation and replete with unfamiliar terminology. These facets of Talmud have been out of reach by anyone who has not mastered top-level Talmud-learning skills, usually acquired only in a yeshiva.
In 1965, aware of the above problems, Rabbi Even Israel established the Israel Institute of Talmudic Publications in Jerusalem. He has been laboring on his life’s work ever since with the help of a select team, making the "treasure-troves of the Talmud” accessible to all, with unprecedented clarity. The first volume of the Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud (the English version is entitled The Essential Talmud) was published less than a year after opening the Center. It was followed by 40 additional volumes published until 2009. This important publishing project was completed in the month of Kislev of the Hebrew year 5771 (December, 2010).
The Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud was highly praised, and received signatured endorsement from several great rabbis in our times, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Shlita), Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Shlita), the Admor of Erlau (Shlita), and many more.
The Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud enables curious individuals who lack the necessary background to decipher what may be called the Talmudic "riddle.” The Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud enables readers to understand the language in which the Talmud was written, to comprehend whether they are reading riddle or solution, and to hone the logical thought underpinning Talmudic enigmas.
The Steinsaltz Hebrew Talmud provides a key to the learner to open the door to endless Talmud study.