Russia’s Knizhniki Publishing House is moving forward with its ambitious plan to translate the Talmud (Oral Torah) — the ancient foundation of Jewish religious observance — into Russian.
Comprising 63 tractates and 5,422 pages and translating one of Judaism’s most sacred and fundamental texts is no easy feat, especially given the Talmud’s complex structure, dense expositions of Jewish law, philosophy and lore, as well as its use of both Hebrew and Aramaic.
“We started with this current project three years ago, working out how we envisioned the layout and how we wanted to do it,” Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi and Knizhniki chief editor Boruch Gorin was quoted as saying by Chabad.org.
Gorin added that the publishing house hopes to release around four volumes a year.
“If all goes well, the entire Talmud will be published in Russian within 10 to 12 years,” Gorin said.
The printing of the Talmud, and all Jewish religious texts, was banned under the Bolsheviks. The repression of Jewish texts lasted until the 1980s, when the last Chumash (Five Books of Moses) printed was in 1918. Gorin and his team are undeterred by the skepticism voice by some who feel that interested Russian Jews should learn the text in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, rather than relying on a translation.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.