Still under construction: please check back; suggestions welcome
This selection of on-line resources for Torah study shares sources which make good use of hypertext and multimedia.
See Source Materials for print resources and more links.
General Text Sites and Basic Resources
- Free Public Domain Material: Both the Internet Archive and the newer Digital Public Library of America have many free, downloadable Jewish sources. Some are just PDF, some also Kindle and other formats. See note below on the more controversial Google Books, which includes material that is not public domain, with and without publishers’ and authors’ permission.
- GrandDaddy of Jewish On-Line Resources: Andrew Tannenbaum, a software engineeer, started “Judaism and Jewish Resources” in 1993. It is still maintained, an amazing feat for web resources, and includes a wide variety of materials.
- “Jewish Studies Weblinks: A Boston-based academy offers, free to all, useful, interactive resources:
- An interactive “Genre Map of Rabbinic Literature“
- A Jewish history timeline, also interactive, with lots of easy-to-use information
- Matrix of other resources, complete with advantages and disadvantages
- The Jewish Women Archives is a terrific general resource.
- The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Association offers many halakhic discussions, ritual perspectives, and divrei torah from women’s and feminist perspectives.
- “On1Foot: Jewish Texts for Social Justice” is an important and helpful site.
Mechon-Mamre offers Hebrew text with parallel English (or Spanish or French or Portuguese) translation of the entire Tanach. The English is the 1917 “old JPS,” so a handy source for public domain translation.
“Navigating the Bible II” offers Torah text in multiple formats: Scroll text, pointed Hebrew with trope signs, transliteration; English translation; and each verse in cantillation, with audio via realplayer. A few footnotes are also included. Scroll Scraper, provided by Adat Shalom, a Maryland Reconstructionist congregation, pulls Torah script and pointed text from the “Navigating the Bible II” site to create two-column tikkun-like materials.
Sefaria provides Hebrew Torah text, along with links to traditional commentaries.
Sacred Texts — Polyglot Bible: English text King James Version with footnotes, Greek text of the Septuagint (oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew), Hebrew (and, if you click on “Tan,” for “Tanakh” [Bible], you get the Hebrew transliterated into English characters; and Vulgate (latin).
Sacred-Texts.com calls itself “a quiet place in cyberspace devoted to religious tolerance and scholarship” — also has an English translation of the Babylonian Talmud (see above) and some other useful texts that are in the public domain. the webmaster makes a point of noting sources — although they don’t appear on every page, so you have to look for them — and letting you know that they’re not copyrighted.
For an unusual — occasionally insightful, often amusing — perspective on the entire Tanakh, visit LOLcat Bible, a communally edited translation of the Tanakh (and Christian New Testament) into LOLspeak publication.
Chumash Intelligent Concept Search is a search engine for the Five Books of Moses.
My Jewish Learning‘s weekly Torah pages provide commentary from a range of perspectives.
The Judaism Portal at Wikipedia has background for each weekly portion, in addition to an amazing amount of additional information on holidays and other topics in Judaism. Again, note that perspectives are not usually egalitarian. See note here, and please contribute your efforts to help widen the view, if you’re able.
“Visual Midrash from the TALI Education Fund Collections” offers interactive menu of visual arts indexed by Torah portion and bible book; also searchable by artist and by topic.
KOACH Two-minute Torah podcasts, by a variety of Conservative teachers plus transcripts, are currently (early 2017) “not found” anywhere I know to look. Anyone know what happened to them?
Sefaria is offers interlinear translations of both the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmuds. (Several other sites offer Hebrew-only access to the Yerushalmi, but Sefaria is the only one I know with an English translation.)
“A Page from the Babylonian Talmud” offers a Hebrew/Aramaic page, with an interactive feature, describing each section in English
An entirely free, if somewhat dated, English translation of the Babylonian Talmud is available on-line. A newer version of the same material, with a format that is much easier on the eyes, is at Halakhah.com; also links to Kindle and other versions. I am told that this particular Soncino translation is in the public domain, so this is entirely legal.
See also “Sacred Texts” site, “a quiet place in cyberspace devoted to religious tolerance and scholarship.” Incomplete translation of the Talmud, by Michael L. Rodkinson (Boston: The Talmud Society, 1913-1918), which is in the public domain, plus many other texts of Judaism and other faiths.
Readable, English notes on select passages from the Talmud are available through The Aleph Society. Organized by Daf Yomi [page a day study] but searchable; based on Steinsaltz translation.
VIDEO/AUDIO and COURSES
“J insider” offers a free series of short, very accessible videos called “Uncertain Times” from Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg.
Reb Mimi teaches in English but often uses Hebrew phrases — referring sometimes to the PDF handout for the talk, sometimes to other concepts — and assumes a great deal of background. She is teaching rabbinical students, after all. The talks might seem overwhelming at first; HOWEVER, she is also very chatty and shares ideas that are understandable without any background…. if you just let anything you don’t understand roll on past, I think you’ll find she has plenty to offer to learners of a variety of backgrounds.
Project Open Book — not to be confused with “Opening the Book” here — is a group of basic, on-line classes offered by Kolel, the Jewish adult ed center in Toronto. Lessons include visuals, text and some audio which you pursue at your own pace. Registration is required, but it’s free and only takes a moment. Once registered, you proceed at your own pace. There are forum pages, but I haven’t seen much, if anything, going on there. So, basically, you read and sometimes listen whenever you feel like it. That’s it.
“Go and Study,” a great set of on-line resources, most of which are current (UPDATE: or were a few years ago when I posted this; no time to check now), is available at the end of the “How to Study Torah” class.
Enter an English word (type normally; word appears left to right) in the search box and press the first Hebrew to the left of the search box, “Targum” [tav-reish-gamma-vav-mem], for a translation into Hebrew. To enter a Hebrew word, click on “Mekledet” [mem-kaf-lamed-dalet-tav] (“keyboard” way over to the left); when the little keyboard appears, use your cursor to click on letters, which will appear right to left in the search box. Press “Targum” for a translation into English.
Another popular option is Milon.
I know of a site that will take transliteration and turn it into Yiddish or vice versa, but not a similar one for Hebrew — if anyone knows of such a link, please let me know. However you can put Hebrew words like “beshalach,” into Morfix, e.g., and it will spit out the Hebrew apart of info from a wiki page. (And in case you are not familiar: Wikipedia, by the way, has lots of useful stuff, including great Jewish pages with lots of detailed references.)
At “Google Books” you can search an author, a title or keywords there. Many results will return books which have previews, including tables of contents, etc., or even nearly complete texts. You can also search topics or phrases or authors from a regular Google search window and then follow the resulting links to books.google.com. This site will also tell you where you can buy a book, including the big chains plus independent bookstores.
Please note, however, that the American Civil Liberties has concerns about privacy in use of Google Books. Here is a clear (if long) explanation from the “Blog of Rights.” Searching this “official blog of the ACLU” should provide more up-to-date information, as it becomes available.