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New York - Schottenstein Gemara: Revolutionary Artscroll Digital Talmud App To Debut (video)

Published on: March 1, 2012 04:01 PM
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New York - The Schottenstein Talmud is about to undergo a massive transformation in size, as publishing giant Artscroll has announced the development of a groundbreaking digital version of their best selling Gemara series to run on mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and iTouch.

According to Artscroll, tens of thousands of hours have gone into the creation of the Talmud app, which will feature the familiar format, fonts and layouts of the popular print edition, whose English translation and elucidations forever changed the world of Gemara study for countless Jews worldwide. Each page will appear on the mobile device exactly the same way as it does in the print edition, enhanced by software that will give the user the ability to better navigate and learn the Gemara.
The video below describes the The ArtScroll Digital Library technology transformation Featuring the Schottenstein Talmud Bavli to be released this summer.

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Among the features included are a scroll bar on the side of the Aramaic page showing which part of the text is currently being translated on the English page, place tracking technology giving the user the ability to simultaneously keep track of their place in both the original text and the English translation, quick scroll, allowing the user to jump easily from phrase to phrase within the Gemara, floating translation, which can display the English translation directly over phrases in the Aramaic text, a Daf Yomi shiur locator, a Daf Yomi calendar and monthly Daf Yomi subscriptions.

Users will also have the ability to color code different sections of the text to distinguish between different portions, resize the text and take notes and attach them to the current page.

The Artscroll Digital Library will start with the Schottenstein edition of the Talmud Bavli and future additions to the library will include the Talmud Yerushalmi, Medrash Raba, Mishnayos, Chumash, Siddur, Sefer Hachinuch and other Artscroll classics.

This project has been in the making for several years according to Artscroll founder, Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, who estimates the total cost for this app in the $5 million range.

“We have a mandate from R’ Gifter that we must harness technology and use it make Torah accessible to as many people as possible,” Rabbi Zlotowitz told VIN News. “We have been hoping to do this since the e-book concept first began, but the proper hardware and software didn’t exist for the ambitious type of project we were envisioning.  Just a year or two ago doing something of this magnitude meant having a dedicated hardware platform which was totally impractical.  With so many people using iPhones, iPads and iTouches, many people already own the hardware they need to use this app.”

Suffern based software developer Rusty Brick, creators of numerous Jewish iPhone apps including Siddur, Tanach, Tehillim, Tikkun, Mishne Torah, Sefiras Haomer, Selichos and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch apps, has paired up with Artscroll for this massive undertaking which is is scheduled to be ready for July 2012, just prior to the launch of the new Daf Yomi cycle.

The cost of the app to users, is still undetermined but according to Rusty Brick there will be a varied pricing structure depending on the options selected and Artscroll hopes to keep the cost as low as possible in order to make the app available to as many people as possible.

“It is a true honor for us to work with Artscroll on this project,” Barry Schwartz CEO of Rusty Brick told VIN News.  “To be able to pair our technology with the best Jewish content in the world, we are confident that this new app will change how the Jewish world learns Torah forever.  We are privileged to be a part of it.”

The widely acclaimed Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud Bavli is a seventy three volume set, whose volume were published over a fourteen year period, from 1990 to 2004, at an estimated cost of twenty one million dollars, contributed by private donors and foundations.  With each volume consisting of two side by side pages, one with the original Aramaic text and the other with a well written English translation as well clarifying what can sometimes be difficult passages in the Gemara, as well as explanations and commentaries for the Gemara, it not only changed the way thousands of people learn Gemara but it made the previously daunting concept of Daf Yomi an attainable goal.

Over two million copies of the Schottenstein Talmud are in distribution, with a full set dedicated to the Library of Congress in 2005.  Widely credited with opening up the world of Gemara to the masses, the goal of the Schottenstein Talmud project, as stated by the Schottenstein family, was to “open the doors of the Talmud and welcome its people inside.”


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Read Comments (34)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:03 PM Tzvi_Hersh Says:

This looks amazing. I just hope it's not costly.

2

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM AKIVAF Says:

This is wonderful but if we invest in all of these hi tech resources and become so used to them what will happen on Shabbos/ YT. Maybe one will not have the same interest in learning because it seems so low tech, less interesting?

3

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM kehati Says:

amazing - what an awesome achievement!

4

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:35 PM 2smart Says:

wow
כל הכבוד

5

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

What about Android?

6

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:51 PM Avreich1 Says:

This היתר from R' Gifter finally puts a stop to all that nonsense about חרדים not being permitted to use computers.

7

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:56 PM kahans Says:

is it only the English version?

8

 Mar 01, 2012 at 04:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
AKIVAF Says:

This is wonderful but if we invest in all of these hi tech resources and become so used to them what will happen on Shabbos/ YT. Maybe one will not have the same interest in learning because it seems so low tech, less interesting?

I love my iPhone, but Shabbos is pretty cool too! I don't think this will become a serious issue. After all, Shabbos is a gift, not a 25 hour jail sentence.

9

 Mar 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #2  
AKIVAF Says:

This is wonderful but if we invest in all of these hi tech resources and become so used to them what will happen on Shabbos/ YT. Maybe one will not have the same interest in learning because it seems so low tech, less interesting?

And then think about all the teenagers who found their way to yiddishkeit through groups like JEP and NCSY. Their parents keep them in public schools where they are bombarded with inappropriate things. Merging technology and learning makes it accessible to these kids in ways that make it more accessible and more interesting to them. Anything that helps bring a single yid closer to H" is worth it.

10

 Mar 01, 2012 at 05:16 PM Dov77 Says:

Will this be on the Hebrew as well?

11

 Mar 01, 2012 at 05:16 PM Anonymous Says:

There are already some rabbonim in EY working with the Halacha Technology Institute (or whatever its name is) to develop protocols that will allow PDAs to be used on shabbos. Sounds like a bit of a strech for the chumrah crowd but for most yidden, they will be more than willing to learn a blat gemorah if that is the price for having access to email 24x7.

12

 Mar 01, 2012 at 05:19 PM seagul47 Says:

Like #5--Android is becoming the more popular system outselling Apple phones.

so we'll wait for the Droid edition.

There is already a daf-yomi app for Droids.

13

 Mar 01, 2012 at 05:18 PM Anonymous Says:

im sure artschrol received the 5 milion already from doners. The retail sale always was net profit. .

14

 Mar 01, 2012 at 06:00 PM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

im sure artschrol received the 5 milion already from doners. The retail sale always was net profit. .

True, I am certain Shottenstien and others contributed to the cost, thus the charge shouldn't be that much for maintaining it.

15

 Mar 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM bubii Says:

I heard that the schottensteins are kohanim is that true?by the way they are great people.

16

 Mar 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM yaltman Says:

Beautiful, Artscroll did it again. Thank you!
I would like to challenge Artscroll to take the digital version to the next level," Khan Academy"!
I know it's a big deal but if anybody can do it, they can.

17

 Mar 01, 2012 at 06:14 PM WolfishMusings Says:

Color me impressed. I look forward to seeing it in action. If the execution is as flawless as it seems from the video, I'm definitely in. No more lugging gemaras on the subway for me. I'd just put it on my Ipad.

The Wolf

18

 Mar 01, 2012 at 06:57 PM MyUserName Says:

...the world will be filled with knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the ocean bed...

19

 Mar 01, 2012 at 08:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

What about Android?

Barry Schwartz said "first release is iOS ", when asked about android...

20

 Mar 01, 2012 at 10:46 PM Reb Yid Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

There are already some rabbonim in EY working with the Halacha Technology Institute (or whatever its name is) to develop protocols that will allow PDAs to be used on shabbos. Sounds like a bit of a strech for the chumrah crowd but for most yidden, they will be more than willing to learn a blat gemorah if that is the price for having access to email 24x7.

Zomet doesn't allow anything to be used on shabbos by regular individuals. Their devices (shabbos phone, car, switch, outlet, etc) are for security and healthcare operations. If that's the way it's been with all these other inventions, there's no reason to assume that a shabbos computer (for regular individuals) is in the offing.

21

 Mar 02, 2012 at 12:20 AM DovidT Says:

+1 about getting it on android!

22

 Mar 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM lazerx Says:

gosh, it is great, but learning in English, is like taking a shower with your clothes on. Or swimming at the beach via the internet.
Nothing is as good as learning with a good rebbe who teaches how to maneuver the complex sugias in shas. This might be good for a beginner, but it is a unneeded crutch for a yeshiva man. The whole Shotenstein shas might be good for a business man, perhaps, but it really should not be in a serious beis medresh. The gemora is for sinking one's head into, not coasting through to make a siyum. If one is not willing to put in the effort, well, as the gemora says, le'fee tzartz, agra. (ha maivin, yavien)

23

 Mar 02, 2012 at 03:23 AM Barsechel Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

im sure artschrol received the 5 milion already from doners. The retail sale always was net profit. .

As you know you must be their accountant!
What a stupid remark serves zero purpose

24

 Mar 02, 2012 at 04:47 AM Dvidi Says:

To bad its only available for LCD screen tablets and phones.. For now, although its for Ipad at the moment.. Reading on the IPAD for a long time really mkes your eyes strain.. They should make it available for E-ink devices like Kindle and other coming large screen e-readers.. Maybe when its available for android, you can read it on the latest mirasol technology, which is kind of a mixture between e-ink and LCD..

25

 Mar 02, 2012 at 05:47 AM 5TResident Says:

I'm old fashioned. I prefer paper and ink. I think I will stick with the regular seforim, thank you very much. There is nothing like opening a Gemara to start learning.

26

 Mar 02, 2012 at 07:07 AM MyNachas Says:

Ashreichem!!!!!!!

27

 Mar 02, 2012 at 08:05 AM WiseDude Says:

In just a few years, much sooner than people realize, electronic reading devices will largely replace traditional books, just as electric lamps replaced oil burning lamps in the 20th century, and just as automobiles replaced the horse. And to #22 who denigrates learning in English: you should brush up on your history. The gemara itself is written in the vernacular of the Jews at the time it was written down, Aramaic. If the gemara was written today, no doubt it would be written in English, or perhaps modern Hebrew. The tradition consists of ideas and concepts which can be understood in any language. The idea of breaking one's teeth on the Aramaic language is not emphasized as a mitzvah as far as I know anywhere in halacha.

28

 Mar 02, 2012 at 08:38 AM Alteh-Bucher Says:

So I guess now we will see more people proficent on shas.

29

 Mar 02, 2012 at 09:23 AM Yossi Says:

wow..now i can travel with shas in my ipad and wont need to watch videos and movies...thank u ...

30

 Mar 02, 2012 at 09:57 AM BaruchGershom Says:

WOW! The new innovations will make learning -- really learning -- the daf much easier especially when they add the recorded lectures. Plus, carrying a light-weight I-Pad on the daily commute is much easier than schlepping a big, heavy Gemara. I bought a complete set of the full-size version during the 11th cycle (the Daf Yomi version which is smaller didn't start selling until near the end of the cycle), but the daily strain of carrying a heavy briefcase caused soft-tissue damage in my shoulder that wouldn't heal until I bought a briefcase with wheels. This digital version will help new daf yomi-niks avoid injury during the 13th cycle. Now I just need an I-Pad and a good reason to convince my wife why I need to spend $$$ on an electronic version of what I have on two book cases.

31

 Mar 02, 2012 at 10:23 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #27  
WiseDude Says:

In just a few years, much sooner than people realize, electronic reading devices will largely replace traditional books, just as electric lamps replaced oil burning lamps in the 20th century, and just as automobiles replaced the horse. And to #22 who denigrates learning in English: you should brush up on your history. The gemara itself is written in the vernacular of the Jews at the time it was written down, Aramaic. If the gemara was written today, no doubt it would be written in English, or perhaps modern Hebrew. The tradition consists of ideas and concepts which can be understood in any language. The idea of breaking one's teeth on the Aramaic language is not emphasized as a mitzvah as far as I know anywhere in halacha.

As a constant user of a iPad Talmud app, (yes, there are a couple available with the tzurat haDaf one for free. and a better for $3..search "talmud) I couldn't agree with you more, it will replace in a way the hard copy, however it will never totaly replace it, no comparison, using a regular hard copy. and obviously if reading Aramaiic is "breaking your teeth..thus you should stick to only English, however, for all who on a regular basis have no problem, no doubt, that reading, comprehending utilizing your own mind, on the original wording of the Talmud, is the way to go, and that is how it is (and will always) meant to be!

32

 Mar 02, 2012 at 12:58 PM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #29  
Yossi Says:

wow..now i can travel with shas in my ipad and wont need to watch videos and movies...thank u ...

Why watch "videos and movies" while you are traveling, Yossi? Both you and I know in our hearts that is complete ביטול זמן.

Take a ספר - any ספר - and exercise your brain!

Best wishes.

33

 Mar 02, 2012 at 02:40 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #32  
Avreich1 Says:

Why watch "videos and movies" while you are traveling, Yossi? Both you and I know in our hearts that is complete ביטול זמן.

Take a ספר - any ספר - and exercise your brain!

Best wishes.

Isnt there another line you can come up with then always the same nonsense study toreh, you guys never learn in this world a person needs some room to grow and not stuck in a rot .

34

 Mar 05, 2012 at 10:26 AM Anonymous Says:

what about android?? if artscroll wants to make "money" they should develop an app for android too. no???

35

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