Rabbi Akiva Eger, or Akiva Güns, Yiddish: עקיבא אייגער, was an outstanding Talmudic scholar, influential halakhic decisor and foremost leader of European Jewry during the early 19th century. He was a mohel. Eger was born in Eisenstadt - the most important town of the Seven Jewish Communities of Burgenland, Hungary, he was a child prodigy and was educated first at the Mattersdorf yeshiva and by his uncle, Rabbi Wolf Eger, at the Breslau yeshiva, who became rabbi of Biała Prudnicka and Leipnik. Out of respect for his uncle he changed his surname to Eger, he therefore shared the full name Akiva Eger with his maternal grandfather, the first Rabbi Akiva Eger, the author of Mishnas De'Rebbi Akiva, rabbi of Zülz, Silesia from 1749 and Pressburg from 1756. He was the rabbi of Märkisch Friedland, West Prussia, from 1791 until 1815, he was a rigorous casuist of the old school, his chief works were legal notes and responsa on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch. He believed that religious education was enough, thus opposed the party which favored secular schools.
He was a determined foe of the Reform movement. Among his children were his two sons and Solomon, a rabbi in Kalisz and chief rabbi of Posen from 1837 to 1852, his daughter Sorel Eiger Sofer, was the second wife of the Chasam Sofer rabbi of Pressburg. An urban legend of sorts has circulated that his son, R. Shlomo, sat shiva for his own son Leibel Eiger when he became a student of the Hasidic Rabbi, Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. Leibel Eiger left to study under Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner, the author of Mei Shiloach and founder of the Izhbitza-Radzyn dynasty, became a rebbe after the death of Rabbi Leiner. Gilyon HaShas, his notes on the margin of the Talmud Tosafot Rabbi Akiva Eiger, his supercommentary on the Mishnah's commentators and Tosafot Yom Tov Shu"t Rabbi Akiva Eiger, a collection of responsa Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger, a supercommentary to the Shulchan Aruch's commentators, Magen Avraham and Turei Zahav Drush veChidushHis commentaries on the Talmud have been published as Chidushei Rabbi Akiva Eger on Shas Attribution: This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Eger, Aqiba". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9. Cambridge University Press. P. 12. Jacob H. Sinason. Gaon of Posen: A Portrait of Rabbi Akiva Guens-Eger. Feldheim, 1990. ISBN 0-87306-548-4. Short biography of Rabbi Akiva Eger Family tree Portrait of Rabbi Akiva Eiger
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 574,147 as of 2018. Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltic states. Vilnius is the seat of the main government institutions of Lithuania and the Vilnius District Municipality. Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe, its Jewish influence has led to it being described as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" and Napoleon named it "the Jerusalem of the North" as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz; the name of the city originates from the Vilnia River. The city has been known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history: Vilna was once common in English; the most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Wilno, Belarusian: Вiльня, German: Wilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильна, Ukrainian: Вільно, Yiddish: ווילנע.
A Russian name from the time of the Russian Empire was Вильна. The names Wilno and Vilna have been used in older English, German and Italian language publications when the city was one of the capitals of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and an important city in the Second Polish Republic; the name Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese and Hebrew. Wilna is still used in German, along with Vilnius; the neighborhoods of Vilnius have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by various ethnic groups in the area. According to the legend, Grand Duke Gediminas was hunting in the sacred forest near the Valley of Šventaragis, near where Vilnia River flows into the Neris River. Tired after the successful hunt of a wisent, the Grand Duke settled in for the night, he fell soundly asleep and dreamed of a huge Iron Wolf standing on top a hill and howling as strong and loud as a hundred wolves. Upon awakening, the Duke asked the krivis Lizdeika to interpret the dream, and the priest told him: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site.
This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world." Therefore, obeying the will of the gods, built the city, gave it the name Vilnius – from the stream of the Vilnia River. Historian Romas Batūra identifies the city with Voruta, one of the castles of Mindaugas, crowned in 1253 as King of Lithuania. During the reign of Vytenis a city started to emerge from a trading settlement and the first Franciscan Catholic church was built; the city was first mentioned in written sources in 1323 as Vilna, when the Letters of Grand Duke Gediminas were sent to German cities inviting Germans to settle in the capital city, as well as to Pope John XXII. These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital. According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an iron wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest Lizdeika for its interpretation, he was told: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site.
This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world". The location offered practical advantages: it lay in the Lithuanian heartland at the confluence of two navigable rivers, surrounded by forests and wetlands that were difficult to penetrate; the duchy had been subject to intrusions by the Teutonic Knights. Vilnius was the flourishing capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the residence of the Grand Duke. Gediminas expanded the Grand Duchy through warfare along with strategic marriages. At its height it covered the territory of modern-day Lithuania, Ukraine and portions of modern-day Poland and Russia, his grandchildren Vytautas the Great and Jogaila, fought civil wars. During the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392, Vytautas besieged and razed the city in an attempt to wrest control from Jogaila; the two settled their differences. The rulers of this federation held either or both of two titles: Grand Duke of Lithuania or King of Poland.
In 1387, Jogaila acting as a Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło, granted Magdeburg rights to the city. The city underwent a period of expansion; the Vilnius city walls were built for protection between 1503 and 1522, comprising nine city gates and three towers, Sigismund August moved his court there in 1544. Its growth was due in part to the establishment of Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu by the Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Bathory in 1579; the university soon developed into one of the most important scientific and cultural centres of the region and the most notable scientific centre of the Commonwealth. During its rapid development, the city was open to migrants from the territories of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Grand Duchy and further. A variety of languages were spoken: Polish, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Old
Shlomo Yitzchaki, today known by the acronym Rashi, was a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh. Acclaimed for his ability to present the basic meaning of the text in a concise and lucid fashion, Rashi appeals to both learned scholars and beginner students, his works remain a centerpiece of contemporary Jewish study, his commentary on the Talmud, which covers nearly all of the Babylonian Talmud, has been included in every edition of the Talmud since its first printing by Daniel Bomberg in the 1520s. His commentary on Tanakh—especially on the Chumash — serves as the basis for more than 300 "supercommentaries" which analyze Rashi's choice of language and citations, penned by some of the greatest names in rabbinic literature. Rashi's surname, derives from his father's name, Yitzhak; the acronym is sometimes fancifully expanded as Rabban Shel YIsrael which means the rabbi of Israel, or as Rabbenu SheYichyeh. He may be cited in Hebrew and Aramaic texts as "Shlomo son of Rabbi Yitzhak", "Shlomo son of Yitzhak", "Shlomo Yitzhaki", myriad similar respectful derivatives.
In older literature, Rashi is sometimes referred to as Jarchi or Yarhi, his abbreviated name being interpreted as Rabbi Shlomo Yarhi. This was understood to refer to the Hebrew name of Lunel in Provence, popularly derived from the French lune "moon", in Hebrew ירח, in which Rashi was assumed to have lived at some time or to have been born, or where his ancestors were supposed to have originated. Simon and Wolf claimed that only Christian scholars referred to Rashi as Jarchi, that this epithet was unknown to the Jews. Bernardo de Rossi, demonstrated that Hebrew scholars referred to Rashi as Yarhi. In 1839, Leopold Zunz showed that the Hebrew usage of Jarchi was an erroneous propagation of the error by Christian writers, instead interpreting the abbreviation as it is understood today: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki; the evolution of this term has been traced. Rashi was an only child born at Champagne, in northern France, his mother's brother was Simon the Rabbi of Mainz. Simon was a disciple of Rabbeinu Gershom Meor HaGolah.
On his father's side, Rashi has been claimed to be a 33rd-generation descendant of Yochanan Hasandlar, a fourth-generation descendant of Gamaliel the Elder, reputedly descended from the royal line of King David. In his voluminous writings, Rashi himself made no such claim at all; the main early rabbinical source about his ancestry, Responsum No. 29 by Solomon Luria, makes no such claim either. His fame made him the subject of many legends. One tradition contends. Rashi's father, Yitzhak, a poor winemaker, once found a precious jewel and was approached by non-Jews who wished to buy it to adorn their idol. Yitzhak agreed to travel with them to their land, but en route, he cast the gem into the sea. Afterwards he was visited by either the Voice of God or the prophet Elijah, who told him that he would be rewarded with the birth of a noble son "who would illuminate the world with his Torah knowledge."Another legend states that Rashi's parents moved to Worms, Germany while Rashi's mother was pregnant.
As she walked down one of the narrow streets in the Jewish quarter, she was imperiled by two oncoming carriages. She pressed herself against a wall, which opened to receive her; this miraculous niche is still visible in the wall of the Worms Synagogue. According to tradition, Rashi was first brought to learn Torah by his father on Shavuot day at the age of five, his father was his main Torah teacher until his death. At the age of 17 he married and soon after went to learn in the yeshiva of Rabbi Yaakov ben Yakar in Worms, returning to his wife three times yearly, for the Days of Awe and Shavuot; when Rabbi Yaakov died in 1064, Rashi continued learning in Worms for another year in the yeshiva of his relative, Rabbi Isaac ben Eliezer Halevi, chief rabbi of Worms. He moved to Mainz, where he studied under another of his relatives, Rabbi Isaac ben Judah, the rabbinic head of Mainz and one of the leading sages of the Lorraine region straddling France and Germany. Rashi's teachers were students of Rabbeinu Gershom and Rabbi Eliezer Hagadol, leading Talmudists of the previous generation.
From his teachers, Rashi imbibed the oral traditions pertaining to the Talmud as they had been passed down for centuries, as well as an understanding of the Talmud's unique logic and form of argument. Rashi took concise, copious notes from what he learned in yeshiva, incorporating this material in his commentaries, he returned to Troyes at the age of 25, after which time his mother died, he was asked to join the Troyes Beth din. He began answering halakhic questions. Upon the death of the head of the Bet din, Rabbi Zerach ben Abraham, Rashi assumed the court's leadership and answered hundreds of halakhic queries. In around 1070 he founded a yeshiva, it is thought by some that Rashi earned his living as a vintner since Rashi shows an extensive knowledge of its utensils and process, but there is no evidence for this. Most scholars and a Jewish oral tradition contend; the only reason given for the centuries-old tradition that he was a vintner being not true is that the soil in all of Troyes is not optimal for wine growing grapes, claimed by the research of Rabbi Haym Soloveitchik.
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won more than any other newspaper; the Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U. S; the paper is owned by The New York Times Company, publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896. G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record"; the paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page. Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials and features.
Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York, Sports of The Times, Science, Home and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine; the Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography on the front page. The New York Times was founded as the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851. Founded by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond and former banker George Jones, the Times was published by Raymond, Jones & Company. Early investors in the company included Edwin B. Morgan, Christopher Morgan, Edward B. Wesley. Sold for a penny, the inaugural edition attempted to address various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release: We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good.
We do not believe that everything in Society is either right or wrong. In 1852, the newspaper started a western division, The Times of California, which arrived whenever a mail boat from New York docked in California. However, the effort failed. On September 14, 1857, the newspaper shortened its name to The New-York Times. On April 21, 1861, The New York Times began publishing a Sunday edition to offer daily coverage of the Civil War. One of the earliest public controversies it was involved with was the Mortara Affair, the subject of twenty editorials in the Times alone; the main office of The New York Times was attacked during the New York City Draft Riots. The riots, sparked by the beginning of drafting for the Union Army, began on July 13, 1863. On "Newspaper Row", across from City Hall, Henry Raymond stopped the rioters with Gatling guns, early machine guns, one of which he manned himself; the mob diverted, instead attacking the headquarters of abolitionist publisher Horace Greeley's New York Tribune until being forced to flee by the Brooklyn City Police, who had crossed the East River to help the Manhattan authorities.
In 1869, Henry Raymond died, George Jones took over as publisher. The newspaper's influence grew in 1870 and 1871, when it published a series of exposés on William Tweed, leader of the city's Democratic Party—popularly known as "Tammany Hall" —that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. Tweed had offered The New York Times five million dollars to not publish the story. In the 1880s, The New York Times transitioned from supporting Republican Party candidates in its editorials to becoming more politically independent and analytical. In 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential campaign. While this move cost The New York Times a portion of its readership among its more progressive and Republican readers, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years. After George Jones died in 1891, Charles Ransom Miller and other New York Times editors raised $1 million dollars to buy the Times, printing it under the New York Times Publishing Company.
However, the newspaper was financially crippled by the Panic of 1893, by 1896, the newspaper had a circulation of less than 9,000, was losing $1,000 a day. That year, Adolph Ochs, the publisher of the Chattanooga Times, gained a controlling interest in the company for $75,000. Shortly after assuming control of the paper, Ochs coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; the slogan has appeared in the paper since September 1896, has been printed in a box in the upper left hand corner of the front page since early 1897. The slogan was a jab at competing papers, such as Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal, which were known for a lurid and inaccurate reporting of facts and opinions, described by the end of the century as "yellow journalism". Under Ochs' guidance, aided by Carr
Torah study is the study of the Torah, Hebrew Bible, responsa, rabbinic literature and similar works, all of which are Judaism's religious texts. According to Rabbinic Judaism, the study is ideally done for the purpose of the mitzvah of Torah study itself; this practice is present to an extent in all religious branches of Judaism and is considered of paramount importance among religious Jews. Torah study has evolved over the generations, as lifestyles changed and as new texts were written. In rabbinic literature, the highest ideal of all Jewish men is Torah study, with women being exempt; this literature teaches an eagerness for such study and a thirst for knowledge that expands beyond the text of the Tanakh to the entire Oral Torah. Some examples of traditional religious teachings: The study of Torah outweighs a number of mitzvot, such as visiting the sick, honouring one's parents, bringing peace between people. A number of Talmudic rabbis consider Torah study as being greater than the rescue of human life, than the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, than the honor of father and mother, provided that the individual's life will be saved by someone else.
According to Rabbi Meir, when one studies Torah Lishma the creation of the entire world is worthwhile for him alone, he brings joy to God. As the child must satisfy its hunger day by day, so must the grown man busy himself with the Torah each hour. Torah study is of more value than the offering of the daily sacrifice. A single day devoted to the Torah outweighs 1,000 korbanot; the fable of the Fish and the Fox, in which the latter seeks to entice the former to dry land, declares that Israel can live only in the Law as fish can live only in the ocean. Whoever learns Torah at night is granted grace during the day, whoever neglects it will be fed burning coals in the World to Come. God neglected to do so; the study must be unselfish: one should study the Torah with self-denial at the sacrifice of one's life. All lepers and the ritually unclean, are required to study the Torah, it is the duty of everyone to read the entire weekly portion twice. According to Rabbi Meir, a gentile who studies the Torah is as great as the High Priest.
An stronger statement is found in the Mishnah where it discusses the social hierarchy of ancient Israel. The High Priest was close to the top of the social pyramid, a man born out of wedlock was near the bottom. However,'the learned bastard takes precedence over the ignorant High Priest.' According to R. Yehudah, God Himself studies the Torah for the first three hours of every day. Torah study is counted among the 613 mitzvot, from the verse in Deuteronomy: "And you shall teach it to your children," upon which the Talmud comments that "Study is necessary in order to teach." The importance of study is attested to in another Talmudic discussion regarding, preferred: study or action? The answer there, a seeming compromise, is "study that leads to action." Although the word "Torah" refers to the Five Books of Moses, in Judaism the word refers to the Tanakh, the Talmud and other religious works including the study of Kabbalah, Hasidism and much more. The Talmud defines the objective of Torah study: "That the words of Torah shall be clear in your mouth so that if someone asks you something, you shall need not hesitate and tell it to him, rather you shall tell it to him immediately."
In yeshivas, rabbinical schools and kollels the primary ways of studying Torah include study of: The Parsha with its Meforshim Talmud Ethical worksOther less universally studied texts include the Nevi'im and Ketuvim, other rabbinic literature and works of religious Jewish philosophy. The text of the Torah can be studied on any of four levels as described in the Zohar: Peshat, the plain or literal reading; the initial letters of the words Peshat, Derash, forming together the Hebrew word PaRDeS, became the designation for the four-way method of studying Torah, in which the mystical sense given in the Kabbalah was the highest point. The distinction is similar to the medieval Christian classification into literal, typological and anagogical senses of scripture: it is not certain whether this fourfold division first appeared in a Jewish or a Christian context. In Haredi Judaism and some other forms of Orthodox Judaism, Torah study is a way of life for males. In Modern Orthodox communities, women's Torah study is regarded as a divine imperative.
In some communities, men study Torah full-time. Haredi Israelis choose to devote many years to Torah study studying at a kollel. National Religious Israelis choose to devote time after high school to Torah study, either during their army service at a Hesder yeshiva, or before their service at a Mechina. In addition to full-time Torah study, Jews around the world attend Torah classes in a contemporary academic framework; the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Judah the Prince, the work was studied exhaustively by generation after generation of rabbis in Babylonia and the Land of Israel, their discussions were written down in a series of books that became the Gemara, which when combined with the Mishnah constituted the Talmud. There are two versions of the Gemara; the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled by scholars of the Land of Israel of the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea, was published between about 350–400 CE. The Talmud Bavli was published about 500 CE by scholars of Babylonia of the academies of Sura and Nehardea. By convention, a reference to the "Gemara" or "Talmud," without further qualification, refers to the Babylonian version; the main compilers were Rav Ashi. See Talmud; the Gemara and the Mishnah together make up the Talmud. The Talmud thus comprises two components: the Mishnah – the core text; the rabbis of the Mishnah are known as Tannaim.
The rabbis of the Gemara are referred to as Amoraim. Because there are two Gemaras, there are in fact two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud, corresponding to the Jerusalem Gemara and the Babylonian Gemara; the Gemara is written in Aramaic, the Jerusalem Gemara in Western Aramaic and the Babylonian in Eastern Aramaic, but both contain portions in Hebrew. Sometimes the language changes in the middle of a story. In a narrow sense, the word Gemara refers to the mastery and transmission of existing tradition, as opposed to sevara, which means the deriving of new results by logic. Both activities are represented in the "Gemara" as a literary work; the term "gemara" for the activity of study is far older than its use as a description of any text: thus Pirke Avot, a work long preceding the recording of the Talmud, recommends starting "Mishnah" at the age of 10 and "Gemara" at the age of 15. The analysis of the Amoraim is focused on clarifying the positions and views of the Tannaim.
These debates and exchanges form the "building-blocks" of the gemara. A sugya will comprise a detailed proof-based elaboration of the Mishna; every aspect of the Mishnaic text is treated as a subject of close investigation. This analysis is aimed at an exhaustive understanding of the Mishna's full meaning. In the Talmud, a sugya is presented as a series of responsive hypotheses and questions – with the Talmudic text as a record of each step in the process of reasoning and derivation; the Gemara thus takes the form of a dialectical exchange. The disputants here are termed the tartzan; the gemara records the semantic disagreements between Amoraim. Some of these debates were conducted by the Amoraim, though many of them are hypothetically reconstructed by the Talmud's redactors. Are debates formally closed; the distinctive character of the gemara derives from the intricate use of argumentation and debate, described above. In each sugya, either participant may cite scriptural and Amoraic proof to build a logical support for their respective opinions.
The process of deduction required to derive a conclusion from a prooftext is logically complex and indirect. "Confronted with a statement on any subject, the Talmudic student will proceed to raise a series of questions before he satisfies himself of having understood its full meaning." This analysis is described as "mathematical" in approach. Prooftexts quoted to corroborate or disprove the respective opinions and theories will include: verses from the Tanakh: the exact language employed is regarded as significant; the actual debate will centre on the following categories: Why does the Mishna use one word rather than another? If a statement is not clear enough, the Gemara seeks to clarify the Mishna's intention. Exploring the logical principles underlying the Mishnah's statements, showing how different understandings of the Mishnah's reasons could lead to differences in their practical application. What underlying principle is entailed in a statement of fact or in a specific instance brought as an illustration?
If a statement appears obvious, the Gemara seeks the logical reason for its necessity. It seeks to answer under which circumstances a statement is true, what qualifications are permissible. All statements are examined for internal consistency. Resolving
Daniel Bomberg was one of the most important printers of Hebrew books. A Christian who employed rabbis and apostates in his Venice publishing house, Bomberg printed the first Mikraot Gdolot and the first complete Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds; these editions set standards that are still in use today, in particular the pagination of the Babylonian Talmud and universal layout of the commentaries of Rashi and Tosfot. His publishing house printed about 200 Hebrew books, including siddurim, codes of law, works of philosophy and ethics and more, he was the first non-Jewish printer of Hebrew books. Bomberg was born around 1483 in Brabant, his father, Cornelius van Bombergen, was a merchant, who sent his son to Venice to help with the family business. There Daniel met Felix Pratensis, an Augustinian friar who had converted from Judaism, and, said to be the one who encouraged Bomberg to print Hebrew books. Bomberg established an successful printing press in Venice, in which he invested over 4,000,000 ducats.
Other sources equally exaggerated, claim that he lost at least as much. He returned to Antwerp in 1539, though his press continued to operate until 1548, it seems he retained some level of involvement throughout. Little is known about his death some time between 1549 and 1553. Bomberg began his printing career in 1517 with the first edition of Mikraot Gdolot; the four volume set included the Hebrew Pentateuch with accompanying commentaries, an Aramaic translation, the haftarot and the five megillot. It was printed with the approval of Pope Leo X and the editing was overseen by the Jewish convert to Christianity Felix Pratensis; the first edition generated harsh criticism by Jewish audiences because of its numerous errors, albeit minor issues in the cantillation and pronunciation marks, because of the involvement of the apostate Pratensis. In a second edition edited by Yaakov b. Hayim Adonijah hundreds of such errors were fixed, though it still generated criticism, it nonetheless served as the standard upon which future printings of Mikraot Gdolot were based.
Bomberg was the first to print chapter and verse numbers in a Hebrew bible. Today this innovation has become so commonplace it is hard to believe how remarkable it was at the time; the division of the Vulgate into chapters was made in the 13th century, Jews began adopting the numbers for use in concordances by the mid fourteen hundreds, yet until Bomberg, no Hebrew bible had included the chapter numbers as part of the book itself. Bomberg not only added the chapter numbers. Though verse numbers were used by convention for centuries, no one had thought to include these numbers on the printed page of the bible; this trivial innovation caught on and can be seen in many bibles of his era, is still in use today. Though Bomberg opposed censorship in principle, he had a keen sense of the dangers of printing texts seen as threatening to Christianity. Thus, for example, the commentary of Rabbi David Kimchi was censored because it contained anti-Christian polemics; these were published in a separate book, which Bomberg released in a limited edition.
Bomberg’s most impressive accomplishment is his publication of the editio princeps of the complete Babylonian Talmud, which he completed in under four years. Bomberg adopted the format created by Joshua Solomon Soncino, who printed the first individual tractates of the Talmud in 1483, with the Talmud text in the middle of the page and the commentaries of Rashi and Tosfot surrounding it. Published with the approval of Pope Leo X, this edition became the standard format, which all editions have followed; the project was overseen by chief editor Rabbi Chiya Meir b. David, a rosh yeshiva and dayan on the Venice rabbinical court. In addition to the Rashi and the Tosfot on the page, Bomberg included other commentaries at the back, such as Rabbeinu Asher, Maimonides’ commentary on the Mishna and Piskei Tosfot; the Bomberg edition of the Talmud established the standard both in terms of page layout as well as pagination. Prior to the printing of the Talmud, manuscripts had no standard page division, the Talmud text did not appear on the same page as the commentaries, which were contained in separate codices.
The standard page layout in use in all conventional editions of Talmud today follows the pagination of Bomberg’s 1523 publication. The earliest printed Talmuds were published by the Soncino family decades prior to Bomberg’s Talmud. Though the Soncinos only printed about sixteen tractates, Bomberg based his own publication after their model. Gershon Soncino claimed that in addition to emulating his layout, Bomberg copied the texts of the Soncino Talmuds, a claim some modern scholars, such as Raphael Rabinovicz, have substantiated. Still, Bomberg printed many tractates that Soncino never released, which were rendered directly from manuscripts, the editions which may have borrowed from Soncino’s text show evidence of having been supplemented by additional manuscripts. Bomberg Rabbis in his publishing house. Besides Rabbi Chiya Meir b. David, rosh yeshiva and dayan in Venice, there were notable figures such as Rabbi Avraham de Balmes, Rabbi Chaim b. Rabbi Moshe Alton, the Maharam Padua. Bomberg’s Talmud editio