Sefaria- the digital revolution in Jewish learning.
When I was growing up I often heard the term “The Jewish Book Case." What do you imagine when you read the words: “The Jewish Book case?"
I imagine shelves upon shelves of books with dark covers and shining engraved letters. I imagine books, old and new, that an educated Jew ought to read and own.Knowing how to use these books was an esteemed and special kind of mastery in previous generations. Knowledge was in books and books were interconnected using footnotes. If you wanted to find something in a book you had to use the index or table of contents.
Then came the search engine and sefaria and that changed everything. Sefaria is described on its website as: A living library of Jewish texts. It invites the reader to explore 3000 years of Jewish texts in Hebrew and English.The digital version of texts is not merely an alternative way of presenting the words. The bigger revolution is the fact that the texts are digitally interconnected.You can click on a verse in Torah and see where it appears in Rabbinic literature. You can click the Rabbinic text and see where it is quoted in Halachik (legal) literature or Jewish philosophy, or Midrash and on and on. The possibilities are endless. Finding connections which use to take reading the footnotes, getting up, pulling another book off the shelf, flipping through the pages…. Now is available with a click...Teaching Jewish texts to students today comes with new opportunities and new challenges. How are we going to use the time to make new connections? How are we going to make new kinds of connections between the texts and between the texts and our students so they become meaningful and useful for them? I invite you all to visit sefaria. Put any word into a search and discover the world of Jewish text in the digital reality.