About Responsa

The Global Jewish Database (the Responsa Project) contains the world’s largest electronic collection of Jewish texts in Hebrew ever recorded, which embody thousands of years of Jewish learning. The database includes numerous works from the Responsa Literature – rabbinic case-law rulings which represent the historical-sociological milieu of real-life situations.In addition, the database includes the Bible, the Talmud and their principal commentaries; works about Jewish law and customs; major codes of Jewish law, such as Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch with its principal commentaries; midrashim, Zohar, Friedberg’s 186 Rambam commentaries and the Talmudic Encyclopedia. In Version 29, about 2,000 selected articles scanned from hundreds of Journals and Torah Collections have been added, to the already existing 18,000 articles, with the ability to perform an advance search on its text and articles.The database also includes a subject index to some of the Responsa and Poskim, and an index to journal articles (more than 2600 topics) which discuss various aspects of Jewish law. The Responsa Disk on Key (DOK) features the full texts of the relevant databases, accompanied by sophisticated retrieval tools, including hypertext links, which enable users to search, retrieve and compare texts from different periods, displaying them in different windows on one’s computer.Special attention has been paid to minimize typographical errors, and we encourage our users to notify us about any mistakes they have discovered. Such errors are corrected in future releases of the Responsa Project DOK. The Project is one of Bar-Ilan University‘s most impressive achievements. The Project was initiated when the computer was in its early stages. Today, after five decades of work invested in the development of algorithms and digitizing and editing texts, the Project has become an invaluable treasure, accessible to all, and useful to beginners and experts alike. A special feature has been added to the Project, allowing the user to add personal notes and links throughout the texts.The Responsa software uses a sophisticated searching engine which is extremely powerful, yet easy to use. It is thus possible to locate material in more than 110,000 Responsa on every facet of Jewish law, and in more than 590 million words of traditional Jewish teaching. The Global Jewish Database has become an indispensable  tool for every student of Halachah – for lawyers, judges, scholars and laymen.

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