I attended a David Patterson Seminar last night given by Rabbi Dr. Norman Solomon which was also a belated book roll-out/signing for his recent Penguin publication The Talmud: A Selection. The lecture was aimed a little more at those unacquainted with the Talmud, but he discussed some of the issues with which he struggled to produce a selection of Talmudic material, and translate it intelligibly into English, that would give an accurate overall impression of the Talmud with only about 5% of the texts. On the aesthetic side of things, his book uses plain text for the Gemara, bold for the Mishna, and small caps for biblical quotations, just to make it easy for the reader to distinguish. It’s a handy little volume and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good introduction to the Talmud.
October 15, 2009