March 3, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Conservative, Reform rabbis praise ArtScroll Talm;ud

From The Jewish Week books section:

David Kraemer, professor of Talmud and rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary, who is also librarian of JTS, uses the Schottenstein edition and encourages his students to do so.

“It’s clear, straightforward and sensitive to the needs of intelligent English-speaking students,” he said, noting that he promotes its use as “a first step, to help them figure out the basic argument. This can serve as another hevruta partner, a study partner. Once they’ve got it, they can return to the unmarked [Hebrew and Aramaic] texts.”

“I often have found myself teaching particular sugyot (selections) from the Gemara using the Schottenstein Edition,” said Rabbi Leon Morris, director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El. “I do so because this translation seems to have been shaped by educators who explain difficult passages with clarity and simplicity. The editors’ comments are by no means the final word in our classes, but the method of translation allows the text to be accessible even by those who have never seen a page of Talmud. While I wish the many transliterated words were in Sephardic pronunciation to correspond to other Hebrew terms used in our courses, it has nonetheless been a helpful aid for our students. For that alone, ArtScroll deserves a ‘yasher koach.’

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