An accomplished mathematician and renowned scholar, Professor Heinrich Guggenheimer spent the last years of his life translating and vocalizing the Jerusalem Talmud. Guggenheimer hoped to bring his work to as broad an audience as possible, and is remembered as a teacher first and foremost.
Throughout his impressive career, Guggenheimer remained an active Jewish scholar and informal Jewish educator, amassing a considerable library and writing books about Judaism with his family. In his retirement, Guggenheimer devoted his efforts to the Jerusalem Talmud translation and vocalization, completing a volume in roughly six - seven months each year. As was his approach across disciplines, Guggenheimer strove to create a comprehensive analysis; he considered his work a commentary on a broader context rather than a simple translation.
When asked what memories he’d share, Guggenheimer’s son Tobias pointed to his father’s decades-long project as a labor of love, one without concern of recognition. As for why Guggenheimer chose to work on the Jerusalem Talmud, Tobias suggested that his father felt the text did not get its due compared to the Babylonian Talmud. “That speaks to who he was, a consummate scholar for whom knowledge was its own reward… his erudition was of significant magnitude though, and it always did find an audience.”
Sefaria is grateful for Guggenheimer's work and support, along with the partnership of his publisher, de Gruyter GmbH. For purchase information of printed copies of the Jerusalem Talmud, please visit: https://cloud.newsletter.degruyter.com/jerusalemtalmud