Marcus Jastrow’s Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature is a classic reference work and the standard dictionary on Talmudic literature. The subjects of this dictionary, writes Jastrow, “are as unlimited as are the interests of the human mind.” With his Dictionary, Jastrow made Talmudic studies accessible for English scholars, and helped establish the study of rabbinic texts as a mainstream scholarly enterprise in America.
Jastrow’s Dictionary contains over 30,000 individual entries, and covers nearly every word in the Talmud. For each entry, Jastrow defines the term, offers examples of use, and provides numerous cross-references. He also includes the etymology for many words, and countless quotations and illustrations from the rabbinic literature. Jastrow’s Dictionary is also noted for its brevity. Reviewers throughout the past century have noted Jastrow’s concise style, and his avoidance of tangential and irrelevant material—common in many other similar dictionaries.
With the Logos Bible Software edition of Jastrow’s Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature, you have instant access to over 30,000 Hebrew and Aramaic entries at the click of a mouse! By promoting the dictionary in your KeyLink preferences, you can double-click any Hebrew or Aramaic word in any book in your library, and Jastrow’s Dictionary will automatically open to the exact entry you’re looking for! This dictionary is also fully searchable, which means you can find words and phrases buried deep within individual entries. All cross-references between entries are linked, making navigating the electronic edition of Jastrow’s Dictionary infinitely faster and easier than the cumbersome and difficult-to-read print editions.
This dictionary is a vital addition to the libraries of scholars who study rabbinic literature. Jastrow’s detailed and meticulously researched study of Hebrew and Aramaic terms will also benefit scholars of the Hebrew Bible, as well as scholars of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages.
In my judgment, Dr. Jastrow has been the most important single man in the development of Judaism in the United States during the last thirty years. [While] others have been more prominent in the public eye, history finds the secret of influence in those who dominate the minds of the popularizers.
—Mayer Sulzberger, Jewish Communal Leader
Marcus Jastrow was born on June 5, 1829 in the town of Posen, in Prussia (now Poland). He received a Ph.D. from the University of Halle in 1855. In 1858, he returned to Poland—this time to Warsaw—and became rabbi of a German congregation. He became involved with the patriotic Polish party and the Polish revolution, for which he was imprisoned between 1862 and 1866.
In 1866, Jastrow left Poland for America, when the Congregation Rodeph Shalom of Philadelphia called him. During this time, he began writing prolifically, both in German and English. His significant contributions to Jewish scholarship include a new translation of the Bible into English by the Jewish Publication Society, numerous articles on the Talmud for the Jewish Encyclopedia, and his magnum opus, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature. To the dictionary, he devoted two decades of his life, and completed the final page just days before his death in 1903.