New Interfaces for Jewish Texts
Sefaria is creating interfaces, apps (like a source sheet builder) and infrastructure (like an API and a structured dataset) for Jewish texts and textual learning. Our website is up at www.sefaria.org.
You can find outputs of our entire database in Sefaria-Export.
Interested developers should join the sefara-dev mailing list.
For general discussion about the project, please post to the Sefaria Forum.
You can post bugs or request/discuss features on GitHub Issues. Tackling an issue marked as a "Starter Project" is a good way to sink your teeth into Sefaria.
If you're interested in working on a project you see listed here, please email the sefara-dev mailing list.
Most UNIX systems come with a python interpreter pre-installed.
(Optional) Install virtualenv:
If you work on many Python projects, you may want to keep Sefaria's python installation separate using Virtualenv. If you're happy having Sefaria requirements in your main Python installation, skip this step.
Install virtualenv then enter these commands:
virtualenv venv --distribute source venv/bin/activate
Now you should see
(venv) in front of your command prompt. The second command sets your shell to use the Python virtual environment that you've just created. This is something that you have to run everytime you open a new shell and want to run the Sefaria demo. You can always tell if you're in the virtual environment by checking if
(venv) is at the beginning of your command prompt.
If you don't already have it in your Python installation, install pip. Then use it to install the required Python packages.
pip install -r requirements.txt
If you are not using virtualenv, run it with sudo:
sudo pip install -r requirements.txt
If you see an error about a missing 'python.h' file, you'll need to install the Python development libraries.
On Debian systems:
sudo apt-get install python-dev
On Fedora systems:
sudo yum install python-devel
After installing the Python development libraries, run
pip install -r requirements.txt again.
On Windows systems, use instructions here and then make sure that the scripts sub folder of the python installation directory is also in PATH.
Create a local settings file:
cd sefaria cp local_settings_example.py local_settings.py vim local_settings.py
Replace the placeholder values with values with those matching your environment. You can name your local database (
sefaria will be the default created by
mongorestore below). You can leave
SEFARIA_DB_PASSWORD blank if you don't need to run authentication on Mongo.
Create a log directory:
Create a directory called "log" under the project folder. Make sure that the server user has write access to it by using a command such as chmod 777.
Get Mongo running:
If you don't already have it, install MongoDB. Our current data dump requires MongoDB version 2.6 or later. After installing Mongo, run the mongo daemon with:
Put some texts in your database:
A MongoDB dump of our database is available at http://dev.sefaria.org/static/dump.tar.gz . Download and unzip this content, then from the parent directory which contains
This will create (or overwrite) a mongo database called
Set up Django's local server
manage.py is used to run and to manage the local server. Is is located in the root directory of the
Sefaria-Project code base.
Django auth features run on a separate database. To init this database and set up Django's auth system, switch to the root directory of the
Sefaria-Project code base, and run:
python manage.py syncdb
Run the development server:
python manage.py runserver
You can also make it publicly available by specifying 0.0.0.0 for the host:
python manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000
(Optional) Get Node running for server side rendering
Sefaria uses React.js. To render HTML server-side, we use a Node.js server. For development, the site is fully functional without server side rendering. For deploying in a production environemnet however server side HTML is very important for bots and SEO. To install node and npm, see here. On Debian systems you can do:
sudo apt-get install nodejs sudo apt-get install npm
npm install sudo npm run setup
Create a local settings file for node and tell it what port to run on and where to find the Django server. The port should match the
NODE_HOST variable set in Django's
cp node/local_settings_example.json node/local_settings.json vim node/local_settings.json
For development, you can run the Node server using nodemon with:
Command Line Interface
The shell script
cli will invoke a python interpreter with the core models loaded, and can be used as a standalone interface to texts or for testing.
$ ./cli >>> p = LinkSet(Ref("Genesis 13")) >>> p.count() 226
We're grateful to the following orgazations for providing us with donated services: