The Talmud: Now in ArabicMay 28, 2012 at 01:25:47 AM
Look out, Schottenstein. A Jordanian research center has now published the first-ever Arabic translation of the Babylonian Talmud, the classic repository of Jewish wisdom and law.
The project is the brainchild of Jordan's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Approximately 100 translators and researchers worked for six years to produce the 20-volume Arabic version of Talmud.
The Talmud is written in Aramaic, the common language spoken in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora 1800 years ago.
The new Arabic translation, covering 7,100 pages, retails for $750 a set.
This appears to be a growing trend. In 2009 Egyptian researchers translated Maimonides' magnum opus, Mishneh Torah, entirely into Arabic.
What motivated the Jordanian group to undertake such a mammoth project? Officially, it is "to make the Talmud accessible to the Arab population."
A closer look at the publisher's introduction, however, reveals an ulterior motive:
Another failed attempt by the Arab world to pull itself out of ancient hatreds and into the 21st century.