‘Thirst For Wisdom’ Sees Talmud Fly Off Shelves in Italy

Talmud Jewish text
A first volume released under a groundbreaking project to translate the Talmud into Italian has become an unexpected best-seller, its publisher said on Friday. A first print run of 2,000 copies sold out in three days and another 3,000 rushed into shops are already all reserved because of what publisher Shulim Vogelmann described as “extraordinary demand given the current state of the book market”. Vogelmann said he thought the 40-euro ($45) first taste of the sacred text was being bought overwhelmingly by non Jews in a sign of mounting interest in Jewish culture in Italy. It also reflected a broader curiosity about the contents of “a very old book full of history and mystery,” that, thanks to its influence on Western literature and culture, was already “part of the collective imagination,” the publisher told AFP. “And then we are living in quite difficult times with less and less certainty, people are a bit disorientated with what is going on in the world. “So when they see a book of wisdom and spirituality being published, many people see it as something that can give them strength.” The Talmud is a collection of rabbinical writings on religious and legal issues that interpret