Dedicated to the research and discovery of original Hebrew medieval manuscripts and their publication in critical, annotated editions
Ofeq Institute was established to discover unknown, unidentified or unpublished classical Hebrew manuscripts, to locate them, edit them according to the highest Torah and scientific standards, and publish useful, high-quality editions. Recently, new sources have opened and many collections that had been previously sealed have become available. The sophisticated resources at our disposal enable us to attain major achievements in this field, and to offer scholars and students of Judaic studies books of the highest importance. The mandate of the Institute constantly reflects the ongoing developments of the social capital of the Jewish people, in the fostering of Jewish connectedness globally, through the renaissance of Jewish learning and its propagation.
Ofeq Institute devotes itself to tannaitic literature and post-Talmudic writings, i.e., the writings of the geonim, rishonim (the medieval masters), and early aharonim. These classical works – some previously unknown, others, works published in inaccurate or incomplete editions – are deciphered anew from original manuscripts, and annotated by an expert staff of talmidei hakhamim and Judaic scholars who also add source references, interpretations, scholarly introductions and indices.
Recent discoveries have shown that many publications of classic works circulating today were based on flawed versions of the original texts. As an important stage of the process of editing manuscripts, Ofeq scholars first endeavor to restore the texts of these classics of Hebrew literature, utilizing many disciplines. Once the texts are established, Ofeq scholars accompany them with commentaries and other learned apparatuses.
In a relatively short period of time, Ofeq has published dozens of reputable classics, all of them distinguished by excellent uncompromising editing – accurate copying of the manuscripts, clear concise notes and interpretations, important well-written scholarly introductions – and aesthetically pleasant layouts.
Ofeq introduced to the world of classical editing of Hebrew texts a method harmonizing between traditional Yeshiva learning and critical editing. The worldwide acclaim for Ofeq׳s work comes then from the traditional segments of Torah studies as well as academia. Ofeq Institute is the recipient of multiple awards from the prestigious US National Endowment for the Humanities, Yad Hanadiv and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.
Heading Ofeq Institute is its founder, Rabbi Avraham Shoshana, who also serves as the chief editor of its publications. Rabbi Shoshana is the editor of numerous classics, books which have become ׳essentials׳ on the bookshelves of study halls.
In recent years, when the libraries of Eastern Europe began to open their doors to Western scholars, after being inaccessible for decades. Ofeq Institute was among the first, if not the first, to be granted permission to publish choice material from the world-famous Guenzburg Collection, housed in the present-day Russia State Library in Moscow. The current publication of these long lost classics of Jewish learning are enriching our spiritual culture with jewels of Torah and Judaic learning, long awaited for decades.