Talmud Wikipedia

It should not be confused with the halachic compendium of the same name by rabbi David Yosef. The theory that the destruction of the Temple and subsequent upheaval led to the committing of Oral Torah into writing was first explained in the Epistle of Sherira Gaon and often repeated. See, for example, Grayzel, A History of the Jews, Penguin Books, 1984, p. 193. Another movement that rejected the Oral Torah as authoritative was Karaism, which arose within two centuries after the completion of the Talmud.

Another aspect of this movement is reflected in Graetz’s History of the Jews. Graetz attempts to deduce the personality of the Pharisees based on the laws or aggadot that they cite, and show that their personalities influenced the laws they expounded. According to the present-day Sephardi scholar José Faur, traditional Sephardic Talmud study could take place on any of three levels. Among Sephardi and Italian Jews from the 15th century on, some authorities sought to apply the methods of Aristotelian logic, as reformulated by Averroes.

Historical analysis, and higher textual criticism

The Jerusalem Talmud covers all the tractates of Zeraim, while the Babylonian Talmud covers only tractate Berachot. The reason might be that most laws from the Order Zeraim had little practical relevance in Babylonia and were therefore not included. The Jerusalem Talmud has a greater focus on the Land of Israel and the Torah’s agricultural laws pertaining to the land because it was written in the Land of Israel where the laws applied. The Babylonian Talmud consists of documents compiled over the period of late antiquity . Its final redaction probably belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance.

The Talmud provides cultural and historical context to the Gospel and the writings of the Apostles. Orthodox Judaism continues to stress the importance of Talmud study as a central component of Yeshiva curriculum, in particular for those training to become rabbis. This is so even though Halakha is generally studied from the medieval and early modern codes and not directly from the Talmud. Talmudic study amongst the laity is widespread in Orthodox Judaism, with daily or weekly Talmud study particularly common in Haredi Judaism and with Talmud study a central part of the curriculum in Orthodox Yeshivas and day schools.

Bomberg’s edition was considered relatively free of censorship. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the oral Torah was revealed, in some form, together with the written Torah. As such, some adherents, most notably Samson Raphael Hirsch and his followers, resisted any effort to apply historical methods that imputed specific motives to the authors of the Talmud. Other major figures in Orthodoxy, however, took issue with Hirsch on this matter, most prominently David Tzvi Hoffmann.

Other commentaries produced in Spain and Provence were not influenced by the Tosafist style. Two of the most significant of these are the Yad Ramah by rabbi Meir Abulafia and Bet Habechirah by rabbi Menahem haMeiri, commonly referred to as “Meiri”. While the Bet Habechirah is extant for all of Talmud, we only have the Yad Ramah for Tractates Sanhedrin, Baba Batra and Gittin.

The Talmud was likewise the subject of the Disputation of Barcelona in 1263 between Nahmanides and Christian convert, Pablo Christiani. Religious scholars still debate the precise method by which the text of the Talmuds reached their final form. Many believe that the text was continuously smoothed over by the savoraim. Today many more manuscripts have become available, in particular from the Cairo Geniza. The NLI, the Lieberman Institute , the Institute for the Complete Israeli Talmud and the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society all maintain searchable websites on which the viewer can request variant manuscript readings of a given passage.

Halakhic and Aggadic extractions

This section outlines some of the major areas of Talmudic study. This difference in language is due to the long time period elapsing between the two compilations. Hebrew continued to be used for the writing of religious texts, poetry, and so forth. In addition to the six Orders, the Talmud contains a series of short treatises of a later date, usually printed at the end of Seder Nezikin. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to “all Jewish thought and aspirations”, serving also as “the guide for the daily life” of Jews.

Mask Danshi: This Shouldn’t Lead to Love

Karaism developed as a reaction against the Talmudic Judaism of Babylonia. The central concept of Karaism is the rejection of the Oral Torah, as embodied in the Talmud, in favor of a strict adherence only to the Written Torah. This opposes the fundamental Rabbinic concept that the Oral Torah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai together with the Written Torah. Michlul haMa’amarim, a three-volume index of the Bavli and Yerushalmi, containing more than 100,000 entries. Schottenstein Edition of the Yerushalmi Talmud Mesorah/Artscroll. This translation is the counterpart to Mesorah/Artscroll’s Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud (i.e. Babylonian Talmud).


A “1735 edition of Moed Katan, printed in Frankfurt am Oder” is among those that survived from that era. “Situated on the Oder River, Three separate editions of the Talmud were printed there between 1697 and 1739.” Some rabbis advocated a view of Talmudic study that they held to be in-between the Reformers and the Orthodox; these were the adherents of positive-historical Judaism, notably Nachman Krochmal and Zecharias Frankel. This was later developed more fully in the five-volume work Dor Dor ve-Dorshav by Isaac Hirsch Weiss. (See Jay Harris Guiding the Perplexed in the Modern Age Ch. 5) Eventually, their work came to be one of the formative parts of Conservative Judaism.

Historically Sephardim studied the Tosefot ha-Rosh and the commentaries of Nahmanides in preference to the printed Tosafot. The commentaries on the Talmud constitute only a small part of Rabbinic literature in comparison with the responsa literature and the commentaries on the codices. When the Talmud was concluded the traditional literature was still so fresh in the memory of scholars that no need existed for writing Talmudic commentaries, nor were such works undertaken in the first period of the gaonate.

On the New Year, Rosh Hashanah the copies of the Talmud confiscated in compliance with a decree of the Inquisition were burned at Rome, in Campo dei Fiori (auto de fé). Other burnings took place in other Italian cities, such as the one instigated by Joshua dei Cantori at Cremona in 1559. Censorship of the Talmud and other Hebrew works was introduced by a papal bull issued in 1554; five years later the Talmud was included in the first Index Expurgatorius; and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name.

It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, and folklore, and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law and is widely quoted in rabbinic literature. By selectively citing various passages from the Talmud and Midrash, polemicists have sought to demonstrate that Judaism espouses hatred for non-Jews , and promotes obscenity, sexual perversion, and other immoral behavior. To make these passages serve their purposes, these polemicists frequently mistranslate them or cite them out of context ….In distorting the normative meanings of rabbinic texts, anti-Talmud writers frequently remove passages from their textual and historical contexts. Even when they present their citations accurately, they judge the passages based on contemporary moral standards, ignoring the fact that the majority of these passages were composed close to two thousand years ago by people living in cultures radically different from our own. They are thus able to ignore Judaism’s long history of social progress and paint it instead as a primitive and parochial religion.