Rav Lau Becomes New President of Encyclopedia Talmudis


rabbi-lauAt a moving ceremony, Yad HaRav Herzog, publisher of Encyclopedia Talmudis, chose former chief rabbi of Israel and chief rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Ra Yisroel Meir Lau, to serve as its president. Rav Lau expressed his appreciation for the privilege to lead Yad HaRav Herzog, together with Rav Nachum Rabinowitz, rosh yeshiva of Maale Adumim, who is chairman of Encyclopedia Talmudis, and Rav Shabtai Rappaport, who is chairman of Mechon Hatalmud Hayisraeli Hashaleim.

During his remarks, Rav Lau recalled the special relationship he had with Rav Herzog zt”l when as a young yeshiva bochur he was charged with tending to the needs of Rav Herzog each day at his home.

At the event, Rav Avraham Steinberg, Institutions Director and Chairman of Yad Harav Herzog, reviewed plans for the future activities and noted with satisfaction the release of a new volume each year.

The association noted the work of Rabbi Yehoshua Hutner z “l, editor of the Encyclopedia Talmudis from its inception, who passed away this year.

The Encyclopedia Talmudis was the initiative of Rav Meir Bar-Ilan, son of the Netziv and brother of Rav Chaim Berlin. Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin developed the concept of summarizing the Talmudic discussions in encyclopedic form and founded the project. 

The first volume was published in 1947, followed by an additional volume every two or three years, and the project is now approximately half-completed. In addition, two volumes of indices have been published, as have special volumes on topics. The entire project appears in CD form as well, and at least six volumes have been published in English.                   

Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg is the current editor-in-chief of the project. Some of the noted talmidei chachomim who have participated in the project are Rav Eliezer Waldenberg zt”l, the Tzitz Eliezer; Rav Refoel Shmulevitz, a rosh yeshiva at the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, and Rav Azriel Levi, chief editor of the Oz VeHadar Shas.

Hundreds have taken part in the encyclopedia over the years. Rav Zevin personally reviewed and largely rewrote every entry in the first 12 volumes.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Congratulations to Rav Lau.

    In 1947 ET was called the Torah project of the century. Few people knew it was meant literally. We all hope they’ll finish it by 2047.