Using Reference Tools
What reference tools does Sefaria have and where do I find them?
Sefaria hosts several reference tools including:
  1. A biblical dictionary based on the work of Larry Pierce at the Online Bible
  2. The Jastrow Dictionary - A dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic literature
  3. The Klein Dictionary - the first etymological dictionary of Hebrew, comprising both the vocabulary current in present-day Hebrew — which includes a large percentage of words of Biblical, Mishnaic and Rabbinic origin, as well as medieval words used in earlier periods but not current in today’s usage.
  4. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) - the most widely used and comprehensive scholarly dictionary for Torah study. This 20th-century reference tool translates every word of the Bible into English and provides information about its usage throughout the text.
How do I look up a word in the dictionary while I'm reading in the library?
1. Click on the text to open the resource panel.
2. Double click or highlight the word that you want translated.
3. The definition will appear in the resource panel.
Can I simply type a word that I want translated?
From the resource panel, click on "Dictionaries" and type your word into the search bar.
You can type in Hebrew using your computer's Hebrew keyboard or click on the keyboard icon in the search bar and type on the virtual Hebrew keyboard.
How do I use the dictionaries from the home page?
The BDB, Jastrow and Klein dictionaries are listed on the home page.
  1. Click on "Reference" and open one of the dictionaries.
  2. Open the Table of Contents by clicking on the name of the dictionary in the header.
  3. Search for a definition by one of the two following ways:
  • Click on the first letter of the word and scroll until you find it.
  • Type the word in the search bar. Clicking on the keyboard icon on the right side of the search bar will open a Hebrew keyboard.
The example below is from the Jastrow dictionary but the Klein and BDB dictionaries work in the same way.
What's a Jastrow jackpot and will I find them on Sefaria?
Definitions in the Jastrow dictionary include examples, complete with citations. When the verse of a word that you are looking up is one of the examples, you have hit the Jastrow jackpot!
This will happen on Sefaria too.
In the example below, we double clicked on the word אתא and, jackpot! The entire definition appears in the sidebar.
How do I look up a word in the dictionary on the apps?
Long press on any word in the library and the definition will appear.