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New York, NY (March 23, 2005) - Yeshiva University Museum Presents: Printing The Talmud: From Bomberg To Scottenstein opened on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at the Yeshiva University Museum.

This remarkable exhibit spans five centuries of Jewish history and assembles an unparalleled selection of Talmud texts published throughout the world. Printing The Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottenstein succeeds in vividly illustrating how technological advances over time have transformed the ancient discipline of Talmud study by a limited circle of scholarly sages into an accessible pursuit now available to all. The exhibit also examines printing history in the context of larger themes of Jewish history and communal life, highlighting international Jewish cooperation and communication, Christian-Jewish relations, censorship and intellectual property.

As the framework for the entire body of Jewish observance, the Talmud (from the Hebrew term for “study” or “learning”), compiled between the 3rd to 5th centuries, has long been at the center of Jewish learning, and it continues at present to play a vital part in Jewish ritual practice and culture. To this day millions around the world -- private individuals, community groups, schools and seminaries -- actively engage on a daily basis in the continuing study of this central text of Judaism.

The exhibition Printing The Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottenstein provides the visitor with a once in a lifetime opportunity to view outstanding examples of early Talmud manuscripts, such as an exceptionally rare Spanish 13th century copy of Avodah Zarah (a tractate that was frequently destroyed by Church censors), and rare examples of early printed volumes, including one of the very few extant complete sets of the famed 16th century Bomberg Talmud, the publication that established the layout of the Talmud page for future generations. Also on display is a rare copy of the Holocaust Survivors' Talmud, published in 1948 in Heidelberg Germany with the help of the U.S. Army.

Exhibited alongside these rare manuscripts is a floor mosaic from the ancient synagogue at Rehov in IsraelŐs Bet Shean Valley. Dating back to the 6th century this unique mosaic is the oldest preserved copy of a Rabbinic text, and the only example to survive from the time the Talmud was compiled and redacted. Property of the Israeli Antiquities Authority and permanently on exhibit at the Israel Museum Jerusalem this is the first appearance of the mosaic outside of Israel.

Linking past and present through conceptual artwork, the exhibition features a video installation capturing the excitement and energy of Talmud study with live footage from five continents, including countries from Iran to Peru and from Moscow to Glasgow. This video demonstrates the living, breathing human interactions of argument and counterargument that are still the defining characteristics of the study of the Talmud into the 21st century.

About Yeshiva University Museum
Since its founding in 1973, Yeshiva University Museum's changing contemporary art and historical exhibits have celebrated the culturally diverse intellectual and artistic achievements of over 3,000 years of Jewish experience. In 2000, Yeshiva University Museum moved to the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York City, where it occupies four spacious galleries, a children's workshop center, and an outdoor sculpture garden. Other features of the building include a 250-seat auditorium, a shop, and the glatt kosher Date Palm Café. Visit www.yumuseum.org for more information about Yeshiva University Museum.
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