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Koren Talmud Bavli, Vol.1: Berakhot, Hebrew/English, Standard (Color) (English and Hebrew Edition) Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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Some background, for those who have not tried learning Talmud in English before.
Until now, the student of Talmud who needed English help had, realistically, two sources. First was the Soncino translation, done nearly a century ago. It's dry, academic, and literal. It doesn't give you any extra help understanding the text. Second, over the last two decades, Artscroll/Mesorah has published the Schottenstein edition, which goes too far in the other direction. Overwhelming the reader with help, it's extremely useful for beginners but its extensive mix of discursions can get in the way and bog the reader down.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Steinsaltz has spent the past forty years creating a rendition of the Talmud into modern Hebrew. Part translation, part explication, he interpolates just enough background and explanatory material to fill in the gaps, without handholding the reader all the way. His marginalia are masterful: some summarize the practical halacha, some explain the archaeological or biological realia, some provide capsule biographies of personalities mentioned in the Talmud. His vowelization of the main Gemara text imposes grammatical rigor on what, for most readers, is usually an incoherent hodge-podge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish, and Yeshivish.Read more ›
They recognize that ArtScroll certainly has a right to their view. However they should not distort Scripture and Talmuds to cause readers to believe that these works say what they, ArtScroll, believe. What is tragic, they say, is that many Orthodox synagogues use the ArtScroll siddur (prayer book) and many Jews who study the Talmud use the ArtScroll translations and commentaries to the Talmud because these books are artistically produced. Rabbis who know of the distortions think the problem is not so ubiquitous and harmful because they have failed to study how wide-spread the ArtScroll changes are and how contrary they are to the truth of the texts.
One of many methods ArtScroll uses to accomplish its ideological mission, beside the distortion of the texts and commentaries, is the deletion of views that it opposes. Dr. Marc B. Shapiro, a brilliant Orthodox scholar, has written an insightful discussion on the subject of ArtScroll's deletion of a commentary by Rashbam (1085-1174), the grandson of Rashi, "ArtScroll's Response and My Comments" in Seforim Blog: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rashbam states that the simple meaning of the biblical text in Genesis chapter one is that in the early biblical period, if not until much later, the day began in the morning, not at sunset as is the practice today.Read more ›
Koren's edition preserves all the features that made me fall in love with the Steinsaltz Talmud, but at a price that is much more reasonable, and it also include the pages of the Vilna edition, which makes it easier to use in following a Gemara class.
This is another soon-to-be classic by Koren.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything met my expectations the books and the service as well.Published 3 months ago by Peace Now
Not easy going, but worth any amount of effort required. Thanks to Rabbi Steinsaltz for making the Talmud available in English for those of us who want to learn, but can't read... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lee R. Frankel
Really good book. This is the first English translation of Talmud that with so beautiful page arrangement.Published 9 months ago by Soo M-Heng
Love this translation and commentary. Have just started my second year of Talmud study...still in Berachot....Published 17 months ago by Deborah L Harris
Too many typos. I came to realize that Rabbi Steinsaltz and his crew think they are better than Rashi at commentary.Published 18 months ago by David R. Peters
Gorgeous tractate. The fonts are beautiful, the little artistic illustrations are lovely, the commentary is clear, the translation is great - I love this edition! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Rabbi Beth
I've been interested in studying Talmud for some time, but was always intimidated before, especially given my lack of a thorough Jewish education and basic Hebrew/Aramaic skills. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lena