By: Yonatan Kurz  | 

Fiftieth Volume of Encyclopedia Talmudit Dedicated in Honor of Rav Schachter

Encyclopedia Talmudit, a Hebrew encyclopedia that alphabetically summarizes halakhic topics of the Talmud, released its 50th volume in honor of YU Rosh Yeshiva Rav Hershel Schachter on Jan. 18.

The 50th volume of the project, which began in 1942, was released at a ceremony at the residence of President Isaac Herzog of Israel.

“The encyclopedia brings from the Gemara, from the Yerushalmi, from the poskim, Rishonim, Acharonim, until our present day,” said Rav Schachter in an interview about Encyclopedia Talmudit. “When we encounter a new topic that we still haven’t learned or heard about, we look at the Encyclopedia … the entire subject is present before you, with all of the sources.” 

Rabbis across the country, including YU Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Michael Taubes, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Yosef Blau and Director of Semikha Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, contributed to the volume in a fund-raising campaign organized by the university which aimed to raise $40,000 to sponsor its completion.

The Encyclopedia Talmudit was first created as an idea of Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan in 1942. Its first volume was published in 1947 with Rabbi Yehoshua Hutner serving as director and Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin editor-in-chief. The current director is Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg, 1999 recipient of the Israel Prize for original rabbinic literature, who replaced Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg following his passing in 2020. The director works with a team of scholars who write, review and edit the material. The volumes are currently published by Yad HaRav Hertzog, which is based in Jerusalem.

The entire project of the Talmudic Encyclopedia is expected to be completed in 2024.

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Photo Caption: Rav Schachter Learning in Glueck Beis Midrash

Photo Credit: Elishama Marmon