Photo: Rabbi Erez Sela, founder of Otzar Hachochma
About a year ago, the Otzar Hachochma Torah database introduced a new category called “Mifarshei Otzar”, an unprecedented tool for studying Gemara. The people behind the the database give a peek into the inner workings and its surprising contribution to the Lubavitcher Library. Plus: Special offers for Chabad Shluchim.
Otzar Hachochma is a vast database of books that is growing year by year in quality and quantity, it contains a huge virtual library that has become a must-have item for anyone involved in Torah study
In preparation for the international Kinus Hashluchim, we sat down for a fascinating conversation with Rabbi Erez Sela and his wife Basmat, the founders and owners of the database which contains 112,785 books as of last summer, of which over 7,000 are Chabad books. About 5,000 books are added each year!
We are all familiar with the classic database that contains tens of thousands of books and Torah essays and has one of the best search engines in the world. But many are not aware of another, amazing and surprising treasure called the “Mefarshei Ha’otzar”, a must have for every Gemara student. It contains all the Meforshim on the Shas that appear on every Sugya in Gemara, Rashi and Tosafot.
In the “Mefarshei Ha’otzar”, the page of the Gemara appears with “Tzuras Hadaf” just like any normal printed Gemarah But here is the catch: By clicking on any point in the Gemara, Rashi, or Tosfot, the page becomes alive! You now have easy access to, all the Meforshim ever writen on the sugya in an intuitive and user friendly style. Based on the feedback of many users, the new database “Mefarshei Ha’otzar”, is a practical, effective, and ingenious tool for anyone who studies Gemrah and would like to delve a little deeper.
For the Chabad user, there is another interesting database; one of the largest archives of “Tshuros” published by Chabad families in honor of their children’s wedding etc. These Tshuros are no doubt a unique source of information on the history of Chabad Chasidim. A tremendous Yasher Koach goes to Rabbi Menachem Mendel (Manny) Wolf, who collected and preserved many of the Tshuros for everyone to enjoy.
Rabbi Sela often receives amazing feedback from Chabad houses around the world who are proud users of Otzar Hachochma. It is important to note that the entire database is now on the cloud so there is no need to purchase any hardware for it. There is however an offline option if you would like to purchase the Hard Drive.
Want to try it free? You can view selected parts of the books in the database free of charge. In most cases you can view the first few 30-40 pages for free. In general, the easy-to-use search engine will allow you to reach many places for free!
For access to the full version, there is a membership fee. But it’s a worthwhile investment. One of the Rebbe’s Mivtzoim is “Bayis Molei Seforim” (a home filled with Jewish books). But how full should the house be? The amount of available Seforim grows every year in huge quantities. What is more befitting than a database that includes close to one hundred and twenty thousand books that can support huge libraries and without a doubt is a “bayis Molei Seforim”
In honor of this years Kinus, Shluchim will receive a 30% discount on the purchase of the Otzar Hachochma database (or on an upgrade to version 19).
You will also be eligible to receive promotional pricing for the new “Meforshei Haotzar”.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to grow your Bayis Malei Seforim in a huge way!