RETTER: Well, it was a seven-year labor of love. The methodology involved was the idea of being able to find entries or topics. And once we had the entries or the topics, we would build on them and have subentries and subtopics. And once we had all of those, then we would develop the sources or find the sources. So about seven - almost seven years ago, I decided that this was what was needed."Track dates" is, of course, an amusing error for "tractates."
And my wife, Margie - who's a lawyer in her own right - said to me, Danny, one minute. You know, we're very traditional. The Talmud study's very traditional. The rabbis are very traditional. And I'm not so sure that you want to do something as revolutionary as this without getting the haskamah, or the approbations or the endorsements of the various rabbis throughout Israel, throughout America, throughout the world. And if you work for - on this for many, many years and you finish it and then it's not accepted for whatever reason, then you've really worked for nothing.
So taking her good advice, I worked for about two years, and we developed a template where we covered all of the various track dates, the 63 track dates. And then I basically went around the world, went to Israel, rather than went to America. And unlike the normal author who writes a book and then seeks endorsements, here was a situation where I just sketched out the basic idea, the basic plan with many, many examples, and then I went to the various rabbis, both rabbis - the Sephardic rabbis, the Ashkenazic rabbis, the Chassidish Rebbes, the Lithuanian scholars. And they not only were very much encouraging, but they said, Mr. Retter, or Daniel, do it quickly, because this is needed.
Background on the Talmud index is here.