Bar Ilan Responsa Project

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The Bar Ilan Responsa Project (the Global Jewish Database) is a collection of Jewish texts in Hebrew, released on CD and more currently USB flashdrive by the Bar-Ilan University (in Ramat Gan, Israel).


The database consists of one of the world's largest electronic collection of Jewish texts in Hebrew.[1]

It includes numerous works from the Responsa Literature (rabbinic case-law rulings).[1]

The database also includes the Bible and the Talmud (with commentaries); articles about Jewish law and customs; Maimonides' Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch with main commentaries; Zohar, Midrashim, and the Talmudic Encyclopedia.[1]

Today the Responsa Project CD-ROM contains more than 90,000 Responsa and more than 420,000 hypertext links between the databases totalling 200 million words.

The project was founded by Prof. Aviezri Fraenkel who served as its initial director (1963–1974), and subsequent director Prof. Yaakov Choueka (1975–1986), as cited by the Israel Prize committee. Currently the project is headed by Professor Shmaryahu Hoz.


The Features of Bar Ilan Responsa (Version 17 plus) include:

Search for a word phrase or expression in relevant texts, search for a wide collection of variant forms specify combined search components etc.

Using the hypertext links to locate and display related sources spanning thousands of years.

Save search results and other texts in order to view them or print them later with a word processor or use them in other searches.

Display biographies of hundreds of responsa authors and other Talmudic and post-Talmudic scholars from medieval times to the present.

Calculate the numerical value (gematria) of any expression and find biblical verses or expressions with any specified gematria.

Compare parallel Talmudic and other texts.

Look up abbreviations in an online dictionary.

Display Torah texts that are mentioned by other Talmudic texts with the click of a mouse (hypertext).

Search for vocalized text (Nikud) in Tanach.

Personal notes and links on the text.

Display texts by manually typing in the reference of the desired text.

Display text of the Torah and commentaries according to the weekly Torah portion.

Display interface in the following languages: in Hebrew (where Windows has Hebrew support), English and French. All texts are in Hebrew.


  • In 2007, the project was awarded the Israel Prize, for Rabbinical literature.[4]

History of the database[edit]

  • 1992 Version 1 released.[5]
  • 1995 Version 4 released.[6]
  • 1998 Version 6 released.[7]
  • 2003 Version 10 released.[8]
  • 2004 Version 12 released.[9]
  • 2007 Version 14 released.[10]
  • 2008 Version 16 released.[11]
  • 2009 Version 17 released.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About the CD". Judaic Responsa. Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  2. ^ "Features". Bar Ilan. May 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  3. ^ "Features". Judaism Shop. April 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  4. ^ "Israel Prize judges' rationale for the award of the prize to the Project (in Hebrew)". Israel Prize Official Site. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010.
  5. ^ "BRIEF HISTORY". Judaism Shop. April 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  6. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (31 March 1996). "Out of CD-ROM comes forth Torah, commentary". The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, Israel. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  7. ^ Kalish, Jon (31 December 1998). "LIBRARY/JUDAICA; For the Oldest of Lessons, the Newest of Tools". The New York Times, New York, USA. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  8. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (17 January 2003). "Disk-Covery". The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, Israel. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  9. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (1 May 2004). "Bar Ilan Responsa 12 (Review reprint)". Jewish Software. Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  10. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (2 March 2007). "Out of Zion comes forth the Torah". The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, Israel (subscription required). Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  11. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (1 May 2008). "Bar Ilan Reponsa 16 (Review reprint)". Jewish Software. Archived from the original on 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-08-17.

External links[edit]