Thursday, November 19, 2009

Encyclopedia Judaica Online

IMPORTANT UPDATE: It was not clear initially on the site, but it turns out that this online edition of Encyclopedia Judaica is only available for members of the Jewish Community Association of Austin. They have now clarified the language on the site and according to their contract are unable to honor requests for the password for others. If anyone does know of a legally available online edition, let me know! (My apologies to the JCAA for the inconvenience who were gracious about the mistake. I have removed the links.)
I don't seem to have found a link to this on any of the usual sites I frequent, so it perhaps may also be helpful to you to bookmark this link for free access to the complete, 22 volumes worth, $2263 at Amazon set, 2nd edition of 2007, Encyclopedia Judaica. (That's the link to the entrance page for the Jewish Community Association of Austin where you will find the acknowledgement to Sharon and Richard Kammerman for this online edition and the password needed to access the site.)

While this encyclopedia covers the whole spectrum of Jewish experience up to the present, there is still a ton of biblical stuff readers of this blog may be interested in checking out. Peruse the hundreds of maps, a 44 page "Land of Israel: Geographical Survey," a 6 page article on "Mikveh," 18 pages on "Aramaic," 6 pages on "Jesus" by David Flusser, and information on
virtually any location in Israel or the Jewish diaspora (e.g., Capernaum with a diagram of the synagogue or Corinth or Dura-Europos). To see the maps and illustrations in full size, you will want to download the PDF files instead of viewing the HTML page. You can have the page read out loud to you (!), but more helpful are the download and Citation Tools to help you get the bibliographic data you need. This is definitely an outstanding online resource you should have bookmarked.

And while I'm mentioning matters Jewish, it gives me an opportunity to highlight again the LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen. They have now opened an app store as described in this article. A lot of the apps are free or inexpensive, but the most expensive one is the $99 Magic Yad.

The Magic Yad (which gets its name from the Hebrew term for the pointer used to keep one's place in the Torah) consists of Torah and haftarah portions printed on the special dot paper. When an aspiring Hebrew learner clicks on a particular word, they can hear how it is supposed to be chanted. They can also record themselves reading the same part and compare the two.
Hey, take notes on articles from Encyclopedia Judaica using the SmartPen!


  1. This is absolutely AWESOME news! Thanks so much for sharing this! I am SO excited about this!
    May God soon bring peace to Israel...

  2. The password is available only to people who are members of the JCC in Austin, TX.