A completed volume in an Italian translation of the Babylonian Talmud will be published next week, marking the first publication of its kind in 500 years.
The Rosh Hashanah tractate will be presented to Italian President Sergio Mattarella at an April 5 ceremony as part of “Project Talmud,” a state-funded project that began in 2010. The Italian government devoted 5 million euros ($5.6 million) to the project, which was initiated by Clelia Piperno, a law professor at the University of Rome.
Seventy translators and 20 researchers worked on the translation using the Traduco (Italian for “I Translate”) software, which was designed specifically for this project. Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni Rome’s chief rabbi, was the project’s chairman.
“It’s really a new way to work, which I imagine can be used in other fields,” Di Segni told the La Stampa newspaper.
“The Talmud is a vast source of knowledge and we wanted it to be available for everybody,” Piperno told Israel’s Haaretz via telephone. She noted that the Talmud is the first example of the simultaneous presentation of written law and its related commentary in history, and that having it translated into Italian “would enrich Italy’s culture.”
The tractate will be released by the La Giunina publisher, with Italian and Hebrew translations from the Talmud’s Aramaic on each page of the volume.
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