The Babylonian Talmud, Now in Arabic

As reported in such news outlets as the Jerusalem Post, Yeshiva World News, and PaleoJudaica, a new translation of the Babylonian Talmud into Arabic has just been published in Jordan and is on sale for $750. Veteran readers of the Talmud Blog may recall Jonathan Marc Gribetz’s article on past attempts at translating the Bavli into Arabic. Various friends of ours have been keeping us up-to-date on this seemingly succesful publication, one of whom tracked down this advertisement promoting the Sha”s:

Translation (based on that of blog-reader Yedidya Schwartz):

 The Babylonian Talmud (In Arabic)

The translation of the Babylonian Talmud is historically unprecedented, entailing a six-year effort of more than 95 translators, researchers, and language editors under the supervision and leadership of the Middle East Studies Center – Jordan.

Hurry to buy the first copy translated into Arabic (20 Volumes).

The Babylonian Talmud is considered the most important product of historical Judaism and theoretical religious teaching for Jewish communities.

The translation of the Babylonian Talmud into Arabic represents a fundamental shift in the perception of the religious and intellectual foundations of Orthodox Jewish thinking.

This translation opens up a wide horizon for academic studies in understanding Jewish religious thought and in recognizing its various manifestations throughout history.

Stay tuned for a full review of the edition in the coming months.

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12 thoughts on “The Babylonian Talmud, Now in Arabic”

  1. Any comments on the new edition of the Yemeni Talmud? Apparently this version of the Bavli has two big advantages over the Vilna Shas: 1] no corruption by European censors, 2] it is voweled, which clears up much confusion over what word is actually meant.

    1. Hi Maggie-

      I haven’t heard of a new edition of the Yemeni Talmud- perhaps other readers have?
      I am aware, however, of a relatively recent reprint of Rabbi Yosef Amar’s edition in which he applied vowels according to the Yemenite reading tradition to the standard Sha”s Vilna. In the margins he also mentions variants from the Yeminite reading and manuscript traditions (http://www.nosachteiman.co.il/?CategoryID=856&ArticleID=3022&Page=1).

      Quite a lot of background on the debate surrounding the value of Yemenite mansucripts of the Bavli can be found by searching the archives of the blog “Hagahot” (http://manuscriptboy.blogspot.com/). To the best of my knowledge, the most recent scholarly contribution to the debate can be found in the 100 page chapter on the topic in Mathew Morgenstern’s “Studies in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic”.

  2. As an arab (Palestinian) and a ph.d student, I am very glad to hear about this arabic translation. Two months ago, I sent a message to the publisher greeting him but received no reply. Hoping that this translation will contribute sufficiently to understanding Jews and their rich culture and assists in peace efforts, I am not so optimistic that it will produce that positive effect within few years. It’s because my nation suffers a lot the lack of enthusiasm for reading even in its language. By the way, three years ago I translated an abridged copy of Maimonides Mishneh Torah from biblical Hebrew into Arabic. Many publishers and interested people Jews and Arabs alike refused to help in publishing it, hence it still waiting on my computer to be published.

    1. Mohammad K., have you thought of publishing it, at least temporarily, through a medium such as lulu.com? I would LOVE a copy, and I know several other people who would be interested. Even if you don’t want to publish it through something like lulu, perhaps you can offer selling your digital copy. There are ways to put your text in a digital format that does not allow people to copy it or edit it. I would certainly pay to have access to this, assuming its in my range. If / when I get enough money, I’m going to buy this Arabic Talmud as well. I’m very interested to see how they translated certain passages.

      All the best! And jazakAllah!

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