Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sefaria: A Living Library of Jewish Texts


Thanks to a notice on the BiblePlaces blog, I spent some time looking around the Sefaria site. It is pretty amazing, and it's free. You can see in the graphic above a glimpse of the immense amount of works included on the site that are available in Hebrew and English. (A recent Times of Israel article notes the inclusion of the Steinsaltz Talmud.)

One thing that particularly interests me is that I can view the biblical text in parallel Hebrew and English and have a whole host of "connections" available in a parallel column that mention that verse. Mishnah, Midrash, Talmud, and so much more, even including Ginzberg's Legends of the Jews. According to their stats, almost 94 million words in this library!

There are ways to customize the interface (fonts, language, columns), create your own notes, share in community observations, run searches for most anything, etc. Truly remarkable.  I wish this had been available when I was writing my dissertation on Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion of Jesus where I conducting a history of interpretation including Jewish readings of Psalm 22. Then again, there is so much here, it might have added to my work! 

But wait, there's more! There is also an app available for both Android and iOS.
And... be sure to check out the Visualization and interactive data. I recommend playing with this "Jerusalem" one. References are tagged and sorted by date, location, etc.
In any case, Sefaria is definitely worth checking.

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