Library Updates July 2020

Can you believe we’re more than half-way through 2020? We’ve added some great new texts so far this year for you to enjoy. Read some of the highlights below and start exploring.

Minor Tractates

English Translation

Who needs a life coach when you can read the wise advice found in the minor tractates of the Talmud? Written during the Talmudic period, the minor tractates discuss interpersonal relationships, individual behavior, and more. Enjoy the English translation that was recently added to the Sefaria library. Find more info about one of the minor tractates, Avot D'Rabbi Natan, below.

Explore the Minor Tractates

Have you ever wondered about all the people quoted in the Mishnah and Talmud? This new addition is sure to satisfy your curiosity. Jewish Spiritual Heroes, by Gershon Bader, offers short biographies to go with all those names you keep seeing in your Daf Yomi studies – aka the Tannaim and Amoraim.

Explore The Jewish Spiritual Heroes

Nefesh HaChayim

English Translation

We added an English translation for Nefesh HaChayim (“Living Soul”) – the major work by Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, a student of the Vilna Gaon and founder of the Volozhin Yeshiva. This text deals with the complex understandings of the nature of God, as well as the secrets of prayer and the importance of Torah, in order to “implant the fear of God, Torah, and ‎pure worship into the hearts of the upright who are seeking the ways of God.”

Read Nefesh HaChayim in English

New Year, New Texts

In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from our New Year, New Texts email back in January 2020:

As always, you can find more library updates on our Content Updates page.

If you like Pirkei Avot, then you'll love Avot D'Rabbi Natan. This midrashic style text expands upon the ethical obligations in Pirkei Avot, with more depth, color, and stories. We now have a full translation from Rabbi Dr. David Kasher, Associate Rabbi at IKAR in Los Angeles.

Other new English translations:

We’ve also recently added some Tanakh commentaries in Hebrew. Here are a few that might interest you: