Anyone use Soncino Gemara?

Home Forums Seforim, Books, & Reading Anyone use Soncino Gemara?

Viewing 28 posts - 51 through 78 (of 78 total)
  • Author
  • #1228459

    Hey, 5ish, are you related to the Fiveish of Oorah fame?


    No that’s Fiveish, totally different!


    How well did the delivery go?

    Thinking out loud

    Mission accomplished!

    @ Geordie613, you got a laugh out of me !

    Sorry, you missed the live feed!

    I suspect that 5ish’s name was inspired by Oorah, but who knows?!

    @ Joseph, sorry, I just can’t resist: Smooth, no complications, B”H. Mom and baby are doing well!

    In tribute:

    After leaving yeshiva, my father z”l learned daf yomi, possibly 7 cycles. He had a daily chavrusa, I’m not sure before or after Shacharis. And he had a daily shiur in the morning, which he NEVER missed. He also was a faithful attendee to a large nightly shiur on the daf that has developed in Boro Park. I know he reviewed the gemara a number of times throughout the day. He definitely reviewed it on the train during his commute to and from work.

    Like many in his field, my father carried an attache case… which was basically empty, aside from his lunch! But there was ALWAYS a Gemara in there. I didn’t look at the publishing date, but I would say it’s fair to assume he purchased the Soncino translation as soon as he could afford it! He likely was always looking for resources to enhance the clarity of whatever he was learning.

    My father had degrees in Mathematics, Physics and Operations Research. Let’s just say he was blessed with high intelligence. Therefore, I’m sure the latin abbreviations were not a problem. He did move on to the Artscroll as it became available, for a number of reasons.

    (The fact that it is a concise, literal translation leaves the Soncino edition vulnerable to being learned incorrectly, despite the expertise of the translators and Editor. Our Mesora is that the oral Torah was meant to be learned orally, passed down from father to son, Rebbi to talmid. It was only written down because it was in danger of being forgotten once we were in Golus. There are cryptic passages, and there is much room for confusion, in order to ensure that it will always need to be learned from a Rebbi, with mesorah).

    My family was resigned to the fact that with the proliferation of the Artscroll edition, my father’s Soncino Shas had finished its mission on this Earth. I figured there’s a big world out there, so I kept it in the back of my mind, trying to think of a way to offer it to an appropriate place. One day, the YWN coffee room popped into my head: There are often discussions here that demonstrate that some very learned people, with diverse backgrounds come here to chill.

    It is my fervent hope that this Shas will continue to be learned according to the guidelines of our mesora.

    Have a refuah shelaima 5ish.

    May you have much Hatzlocha, and Siyatta D’shmaya in your learning.

    Thinking out loud

    One more note:

    This entire time, it never occured to me to simply Google “Soncino Shas”. I just did. Entire sets are available for sale on both Amazon and Ebay for hundreds of dollars. Individual volumes are also listed. It can also be purchased in digital form for Kindle or other electronic media. Apparently there is a market for it.

    I followed some of the other results of my google search. It is obvious that as I suspected, some of those interested in a translated Shas, do not believe that Torah Sheb’al Peh was given together with Torah Shebichtav. Therefore, a concise translation can create an “open season” for understanding the gemara in any way a person is so inclined. I suppose that is why I hesitated before deciding to give away the Shas in the way that I did.


    Thinking out loud: Yay mazal tov!!! May you always have every blessing in sweetness and bring blessings to your beloved father’s memory.

    5ish: Refuah shlema and best of blessings for you and your Soncino Gemaras.


    Very touching post thinkingoutloud. I B”H received the Shas. You have really done a tova and it will get a lot of good use!


    Now you need to invite us all to your next siyum, with thinkingoutloud as guest of honor and dedicated l’ilui nishams his father.

    Thinking out loud

    Thank you for the confirmation, 5ish. I’m confident that I did the right thing!

    I wonder if my last post(s) were the trigger for the 1000 word per post limit being instituted.

    <kidding> I hope I didn’t exchange a Shas for an addiction to the coffee room! :/ </kidding>


    Amazing! BH.

    5ish, it sounds like you have taken on a big achrayus. Learn well!



    Thinking out loud

    Just when I thought this thread was closed, I found another volume from Soncino, in a different set of bookshelves!

    It is called “Mesechtos Ketanos”, and looks like it is part of the set. On the spine is listed:

    Avos D’Rabbi Nassan




    Kallah Rabbo

    Derech Eretz Rabbah

    Perek Hashalom




    Sefer Torah





    Should I drop off this volume in the same place I dropped off the 4 boxes?

    Thinking out loud


    Thinking out loud


    Is 5ish still reading this??


    I suggest someone hack in to 5ish’s user account and tick the newly featured box “Notify me of follow-up posts via email”.


    I was thinking of knocking on the door at the IP coordinates…


    Wow. I anticipated someone saying that it’s assur and even the suggestion is cause for being blocked.

    Then Mod-29 says something radical. Albeit not serious I suspect. Still…

    Musta been some good stuffed cabbage.

    YW Moderator-25

    The stuffed cabbage isn’t done yet, though it should not be that long until it’s done


    Isn’t it obvious what the problem is?

    The man just got an entire set of Shas.

    Doesn’t have a minute in his day to stop in here for idle chatter.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Golfer +1. Yeah 5ish for being such a masmid!


    Sorry guys I did not notice the activity. You can of course drop it off in the same place!


    Mod-25: I’m in awe of your cooking marathon. Must be some seudah coming up.

    Please share the recipe if it’s permitted!

    5ish & TOL: Yays 🙂


    Nu? Any news? 5ish, TOL?

    Thinking out loud

    LOL Geordie.

    The final chapter in this thread will be when I have an opportunity to drop off the Mesechtos Ketanos volume, and 5ish confirms receiving it.

    Since it’s only one volume, I will not be bothering anyone to drive to Touro, so I’m not sure when that will be. But I’ll try to post the Finale for you Geordie!

    Thinking out loud

    Perhaps I should start another thread!

    I just found something else on a very high shelf on top of my father’s seforim:

    It’s a small size set of Shas (yup, another one). Each volume measures about 5.5″ X 8.5″. It seems to be similar, or perhaps identical to the Soncino, as it says it is translated “under the editorship” of the same Rabbi Dr. Epstein. The only publisher I found inside the volume I looked at was “Rebecca Bennett Publications”.

    Upon doing some research, I believe the translation and commentary may actually be an unauthorized copy of the Soncino. The tzuras hadaf is apparently a copy of the Lemberg Edition (not Vilna) Shas, in a reduced size to fit the smaller pages. If I understand correctly, that means that each daf is divided into 2 pages, and possibly some of the classic commentaries are not printed on the daf. This makes sense, because if they had used the Vilna Edition, and reduced it to fit the small pages, the print would be too tiny to learn from.

    Each volume has some or all of a mesechta in the first half, starting from the front when opening a sefer written in Lashon Hakodesh (Hebrew). The other half is the English translation and commentary, starting from the front, when opening a book written in English.

    In other words, the English translation and commentary is not printed page by page opposite the Aramaic/Hebrew text of the Gemara. It’s in a totally separate section in each volume. There are A LOT of volumes. An online site called Bibliopolis is selling this set, with 63 volumes. I have to count, but I estimated around 70 volumes. (I need to spend some time on a ladder in my parents’ living room for a proper inspection).

    My father’s set is bound in a red color, and appears to be in excellent condition. You can see accurate photos, by going to ebay, and searching for this item:

    Hebrew English Talmud CHULLIN II Bennet Jewish

    A seller called bluebirds15 is selling individual volumes from what looks like an identical set. On the listing for this particular volume (Chullin II), the seller posted a picture of the outside of the Gemara, plus a few pictures of the inside also.

    I imagine my father Z”L bought these because of their size, for use on the subway during his commute to work. They were probably easier to maneuver on a crowded train, than a regular sized Gemara. The volumes are a bit thick in relation to the width and length dimensions; about 1 1/2 inches give or take some millimeters.

    Thinking out loud

    I really don’t have a clue what to do with these. As I stated previously, there is a market for translations of the Talmud. However, the market includes many “scholars”, both Jewish, and non-Jewish, who misuse it by learning it without proper mesorah. They misinterpret it, sometimes deliberately, and use it to discredit Torah MiSinai Judaism. It would be devastating if Sefarim that belonged to my father, Z”L ended up in the hands of people who do not have Yiras Shamayim. Therefore, offering it up for sale to the highest bidder is not an option.

    There seems to be one specific factor that makes this set uniquely valuable. According to a comment on a review I found online, the original Soncino translation included a comprehensive index. This edition includes that index, as well as some sort of Hebrew index for the entire Gemara, and indexes for each individual mesechta.

    The familiar, popular Soncino edition (which I gave to 5ish) was formatted to present the translation directly opposite the original text of a Vilna Shas, page by page. The original Soncino index was compromised in the process (since the pagination was completely redone, among other factors). There is now an additional index volume that was done for the page by page translation, but apparently it does not have all the features that exist in the indexes that are included in the small set I am discussing.

    Maybe somebody who has lots of shelf space, would want this set just to be able to use these indexes, which are more comprehensive, or more clearly organized than the page by page translation. According to that reviewer, Artscroll and other well known translations do not have indexes at all.

    It does seem this would be valuable as a supplemental reference tool in a Beis Medrash library. It would have to be in one where this translation is well-received.

    Again, ideas are welcome!!

    Thinking out loud


    My last post on this thread has information about Another shas I found!
    I’m looking for suggestions again…

    Thinking out loud

    To 5ish
    I would like to drop off the last volume today.
    Same location? Same instructions?

    Thinking out Loud

Viewing 28 posts - 51 through 78 (of 78 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.