2022 Sum What You’ll Need

Our Talmud Text

We will be learning from Masechet Bava Batra, daf 9a. We will provide you with a full masechet (volume of Talmud) if you do not have one already, and we provide enlarged copies of the daf (page) upon request. Additionally, a digital copy of our daf is available in this portal. We recommend learning from printed materials whenever possible—whether that is a full printed masechet or a print-out of the digital daf.

If you have any questions about accessing printed learning materials, please be in touch with Olivia.

Dictionaries

There are two dictionaries necessary for doing the work of this bet midrash:

  • a “Jastrow”—Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature, by Marcus Jastrow.
  • a “Frank”—The Practical Talmud Dictionary, by Yitzhak Frank.

Both these dictionaries were recently unavailable, but we are thrilled that they are back in print!

The Jastrow Dictionary is essential for your learning. You can find this dictionary at your local Jewish bookstore, or order online directly from the publisher. Used copies are also often available but, please note that the Jastrow Dictionary you’re looking for has about 1,700 pages. (There is a shorter truncated version which is not useful for Talmud study—Steer clear!)

The Jastrow is unfortunately printed in a small and somewhat fuzzy typeface. Below you will find information about Jastrow accessibility and two ways to access the Jastrow dictionary online.

In addition to Jastrow, you will need the Frank DictionaryYou can order the Frank dictionary from your local Jewish bookstore, or directly from the publisher. Since this dictionary is only just back in print, we will provide excerpts of any required entries. However, we strongly encourage getting a copy ASAP!

Jastrow Accessibility and Online Versions   

Many of our learners and teachers use a Magnabrite magnifying glass to help increase the size and clarity of the printing. We also recommend this magnifier with two flat edges, which can fit in closer to the inner binding of a book. Some folks find the online versions of the dictionary more accessible for various reasons. Below is information about two online editions:

  • Option #1 is the Tyndale Archive Jastrow Dictionary. This is a complete scan of the printed dictionary. You can find your dictionary entry by selecting the first letter of the word you are looking up and then selecting the first word on the page that will contain your entry. You can enlarge the scanned pages of this dictionary by using the interfaces built-in enlargement tools which are available in the page header. Some benefits of using this option include that it feels more like the book—if your chevruta is using a printed dictionary, you will be looking at the exact same thing and can share page numbers, and you will reinforce learning the order of the alef bet. 
  • Option #2 is Jastrow on Sefaria. With this option you can type the root or word you are looking for into a search box (via the onscreen Hebrew keyboard) and jump directly to an entry. You may need to scroll backward and forward from there because there can be multiple entries for the same term. Sefaria includes a built-in function to adjust the font size which you can access by selecting the “Aא” button on the upper right side of the page. Some benefits of using this option are that the digitized text is clearer than the Tyndale Archive’s scans and Sefaria is compatible with screen reader technology. Some challenges are that it is harder to get on the “same page” as your chevruta (there are no page numbers), and sometimes the search function takes you to unexpected places. 

Only you know what you need in order to learn best! We’ve found that having printed materials and a hard copy of the Jastrow dictionary is supportive for many folks, especially as a contrast to our learning online, and we encourage you to try this if it’s accessible to you.

If purchasing dictionaries or a magnifying glass is beyond your means, please be in touch with Olivia.

A Computer With…

To participate in shiur most fully, you will need a computer with high-speed internet access capable of supporting video conferencing. Shiur will be hosted on Zoom—we recommend downloading Zoom’s free software (Zoom Client for Meetings) for the smoothest experience. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, check out Zoom tips!

Other Learning Materials

The other learning materials you will need for this Bet Midrash, including the Hint Sheet, Supplemental Texts, and reference works will become available through this portal and will be mailed to you in paper copy. 20-point font materials will be available in paper copy upon request at registration and will be available in this portal.