The first translation of the Talmud into Italian was marked this week at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, the largest library in the world.
The translation was a joint initiative of the Italian Jewish community and the Italian government.
Approximately 100 people attended the event at the Library of Congress, including representatives of the Italian government, the Chief Rabbi of Rome and editor-in-chief of the translation, Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, project head Professor Clelia Piperno and Steinsaltz Center director Rabbi Menachem Even-Israel Steinsaltz, the son of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz whose Hebrew edition of the Talmud made it a accessible to everyone..
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz wrote the preface for the Italian translation, declaring that "this is a vital book for the Jews because their existence depends on it. But it is also a book which bears a message for the entire world."
Two tractates of the new translation were presented at the event, those of 'Berachot' and 'Rosh Hashanah.' The Steinsaltz Center is continuing to work to complete the translation of the remaining tractates.
Rabbi Menachem Steinsaltz said: "The translation of the Italian Talmud is one of the many collaborations that we are promoting for the realization of my father's life's work. He managed to make the Jewish canon accessible to every Jew, wherever he may be, and to anyone who wants to know about the Jewish world."
"The translation of the Talmud into Italian is one of the milestones that show the continuation of this important enterprise," he added. "This is an opportunity to thank everyone who worked for the success of the project. I hope that we will continue with this activity and that it will continue to expand throughout the world."
The Italian translation joins the other translated editions of the Talmud currently being worked on by the Steinsaltz Center, including translations into English, Russian, and Spanish.
The Steinsaltz Center has been operating for close to 50 years and is located in the Nahlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The center's main activity focuses on work on the Jewish canonical texts and making them accessibil to all the world's Jews.