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Judaism The Babylonian Talmud

Seder Kodashim and Massekhtot Ketanot [The Order of Kodashim and the Minor Tractates]. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, AM 5288 (1528 CE). NYPL, Dorot Jewish Division.

Despite his non-Jewish origins, Daniel Bomberg eventually became the most prominent printer of Hebrew books in the 16th century. His crowning achievement was the publication of the entire Babylonian Talmud. Bomberg created the standard foliation and layout followed by nearly all subsequent editions to the present day. The first edition (1519/20-1523) was so successful that Bomberg reprinted the Talmud at least two more times. The contemporary recognition of Bomberg's achievement is movingly attested to in the colophon provided by the editor, Cornelio Adelkind, to the final tractate of the Talmud.

The long handwritten note following the printed colophon, written in Yemen in 1618, praises the printers of Hebrew books, who make these texts available and, in so doing, make the long and arduous exile bearable.