Understanding Sefaria's Structure

Brett Lockspeiser edited this page Sep 16, 2015 · 9 revisions

In Sefaria, texts are structured in a particular fashion. This page is a description and explanation of the terms you will see.

  • Text Name - Every book in the Sefaria library must have a name. Example names include "Genesis" and "Ramban on Leviticus". Names must also be unique which is why we have Berakhot, Mishnah Berakhot, and Yerushalmi Berakhot. A text can have multiple text versions (see next section). The text name is also what appears in the URL after www.sefaria.org, so if you're not sure what the text name of the book your'e looking at is, just look at the URL.

  • Text Version - this is a version of a given book that includes the actual words of text. If, for example, there are multiple editions of a given book with significant differences, each would be its own text version. In this manner we do not worry about solving disagreements between scholars - we present both and let our users decide what they want to see. Each text version has several properties:

    • Version Title - this is meant to be a descriptive string which describes what version of a text this is. Is it from a particular printing or edition of a book? An online resource? This string should describe it in English.

    • Version Source - this is meant to be a URL which explains where the text came from. If the text came from an online resource, then link to it. If the text came from a book, then link to that book's record in the NLI catalog.

    • Language - the language should be either English or Hebrew. For now, Aramaic should use the Hebrew language setting because it uses the same characters. Most of the time the system will pick up the language automatically, but if it doesn't you can override the default setting.

    • Version Notes - some versions (for example, the JPS 1917 on Genesis) will include special notes describing where they came from. These notes can currently only be set by Sefaria personnel, but feel free to let us know if you think a versions deserves a special note.

    • Additional Flags - Most of the special flags can currently only be set by Sefaria personnel, but some of these flags include the ability to set a license, mark a text as digitized by Sefaria, or lock a text to prevent it from being edited.

  • A note on commentaries: commentaries generally mimic the structure of the text they comment on. If each volume of Talmud is its own book (Berakhot, Shabbat, etc.) with its own text name, then the commentaries on the Talmud will be structured the same way (Tosafot on Berakhot and Tosafot on Shabbat).