Yeshiva in Israel
Yeshiva in IsraelIsrael news photo: Flash 90

For the first time in history, the Talmud will be translated into the Italian language.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Italian government is collaborating with the Italian Jewish community on what is being dubbed "Project Talmud."

A protocol launching the project was signed last Friday in Rome by cabinet ministers, the president of Italy's National Research Council, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities and Rome's chief rabbi.

Project Talmud aspires to complete the translation into the Italian language of the original Aramaic version of the Babylonian Talmud, with commentaries, as well as an introductory volume about the structure, contents and language of the Talmud.

Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, praised the initiative, saying that it demonstrates how "the cultural collaboration between state institutions and the reality of Italian Judaism has assumed new awareness and meaningful commitment."

The Talmud, which comprises both the Mishnah (Oral Law) and the Gemara, is one of the Jewish people's most sacred and central texts, forming a coded record of ancient rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history, and written mostly in Aramaic. The Babylonian Talmud was recorded in about the 6th century while the Jerusalem Talmud was recorded some 200 years earlier. There are several English translations of the monumental work.