—— Tannaitic ——
—— Amoraic (Gemara) ——
—— Later ——
—— Exodus ——
Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon
Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai
—— Leviticus ——
Sifra (Torat Kohanim)
—— Numbers and Deuteronomy ——
Sifrei Zutta on Numbers
(Mekhilta le-Sefer Devarim)
—— Tannaitic ——
Seder Olam Rabbah
Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules
Baraita on the Thirty-two Rules
Baraita on the Erection of the Tabernacle
—— 400–600 ——
Pesikta de-Rav Kahana
Seder Olam Zutta
—— 650–900 ——
Tanna Devei Eliyahu
Alphabet of Sirach
Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah
Baraita of Samuel
—— 900–1000 ——
Shir ha-Shirim Zutta
—— 1000–1200 ——
—— Later ——
Machir ben Abba Mari
Targum to the Five Megillot
Targum Sheni to Esther
Targum to Chronicles
Part of a series on
Principles of faith
Names of God
Holy cities / places
Culture and education
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Judaism and Christianity
The Talmud (/ˈtɑːlmʊd, -məd, ˈtæl-/; Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד
talmūd "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study") is
the central text of Rabbinic
Judaism and the primary source of Jewish
religious law and theology. 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
The term "Talmud" normally refers to the collection of writings named
specifically the Babylonian
Talmud Bavli), although there is
also an earlier collection known as the
Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud
Yerushalmi). When referring to the post-biblical periods during
Talmud was being compiled, those of the Talmudic academies
and the Babylonian exilarchate, Jewish sources used the term
"Babylonia" long after its geopolitical obsolescence.
It may also traditionally be called Shas (ש״ס), a Hebrew
abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah.
The Talmud has two components; the
Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. year
200 CE), a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah; and
Gemara (circa year 500), an elucidation of the
Mishnah and related
Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and
expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. "Talmud" translates literally as
"instruction" in Hebrew, and the term may refer to either the Gemara
alone, or the
Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is
over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Tannaitic Hebrew and Jewish
Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of
thousands of rabbis (dating from before the
Common Era through to the
fifth century) on a variety of subjects, including
Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, and is
widely quoted in rabbinic literature.
Halakha and Aggadah
2.5 Minor tractates
3 Bavli and Yerushalmi
Talmud Yerushalmi (
3.2 Babylonian Talmud
3.3 Comparison of style and subject matter
Talmud 1795 and Vilna
Talmud 1897–1909, and German translation
5.5 Critical editions
5.6 Editions for a wider audience
7.2 Halakhic and Aggadic extractions
7.5 Sephardic approaches
7.6 Brisker method
7.7 Critical method
7.7.1 Textual emendations
7.8 Historical analysis, and higher textual criticism
7.9 Contemporary scholarship
8 Role in Judaism
8.3 Reform Judaism
8.4 Humanistic Judaism
8.5 Present day
9 In visual arts
9.1 In Carl Schleicher's paintings
9.2 Jewish art
10 Other contexts
11.1 Middle Ages
11.2 19th century and after
11.3 Contemporary accusations
12 See also
14.1 Logic and methodology
14.2 Modern scholarly works
14.2.1 On individual tractates
14.3 Historical study
15 External links
15.2 Refutation of allegations concerning the Talmud
15.3 Full text resources
15.4 Manuscripts and textual variants
15.6 "Daf Yomi" program
Main article: Oral Torah
An early printing of the
Ta'anit 9b); with commentary by Rashi
The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate
Berachot, folio 2a
Originally, Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated
Torah (the written
Torah expressed in the Hebrew Bible) and
Tanakh without the benefit of written works (other than
the Biblical books themselves), though some may have made private
notes (megillot setarim), for example of court decisions. This
situation changed drastically, mainly as the result of the destruction
of the Jewish commonwealth and the
Second Temple in the year 70 and
the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the
Rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly
Judaism without a
Temple (to serve as the center of teaching and study) and Judea
without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal
discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be
maintained. It is during this period that rabbinic discourse began to
be recorded in writing. The earliest recorded oral
have been of the midrashic form, in which halakhic discussion is
structured as exegetical commentary on the Pentateuch. But an
alternative form, organized by subject matter instead of by biblical
verse, became dominant around the year 200, when
Rabbi Judah the
Prince redacted the
Mishnah (משנה).
Torah was far from monolithic; rather, it varied among
various schools. The most famous two were the School of
the School of Hillel. In general, all valid opinions, even the
non-normative ones, were recorded in the Talmud.
The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud
(Cod.hebr. 95), dates from 1342 and is available online.
The structure of the
Talmud follows that of the Mishnah, in which six
orders (sedarim; singular: seder) of general subject matter are
divided into 60 or 63 tractates (masekhtot; singular: masekhet) of
more focused subject compilations, though not all tractates have
Gemara. Each tractate is divided into chapters (perakim; singular:
perek), 517 in total, that are both numbered according to the Hebrew
alphabet and given names, usually using the first one or two words in
the first mishnah. A perek may continue over several (up to tens of)
pages. Each perek will contain several mishnayot with their
accompanying exchanges that form the "building-blocks" of the Gemara;
the name for a passage of gemara is a sugya (סוגיא; plural
sugyot). A sugya, including baraita or tosefta, will typically
comprise a detailed proof-based elaboration of a Mishnaic statement,
whether halakhic or aggadic. A sugya may, and often does, range widely
off the subject of the mishnah. The sugya is not punctuated in the
conventional sense used in the English language, but by using specific
expressions that help to divide the sugya into components, usually
including a statement, a question on the statement, an answer, a proof
for the answer or a refutation of the answer with its own
In a given sugya, scriptural, Tannaic and Amoraic statements are cited
to support the various opinions. In so doing, the
highlight semantic disagreements between
ascribing a view to an earlier authority as to how he may have
answered a question), and compare the Mishnaic views with passages
from the Baraita. Rarely are debates formally closed; in some
instances, the final word determines the practical law, but in many
instances the issue is left unresolved. There is a whole literature on
the procedural principles to be used in settling the practical law
when disagreements exist: see under #Logic and methodology below.
Main article: Mishnah
Mishnah is a compilation of legal opinions and debates. Statements
Mishnah are typically terse, recording brief opinions of the
rabbis debating a subject; or recording only an unattributed ruling,
apparently representing a consensus view. The rabbis recorded in the
Mishnah are known as the Tannaim.
Since it sequences its laws by subject matter instead of by biblical
Mishnah discusses individual subjects more thoroughly
than the Midrash, and it includes a much broader selection of halakhic
subjects than the Midrash. The Mishnah's topical organization thus
became the framework of the
Talmud as a whole. But not every tractate
Mishnah has a corresponding Gemara. Also, the order of the
tractates in the
Talmud differs in some cases from that in the
The Six Orders of the
Mishnah (ששה סדרי משנה)
Main article: Baraita
In addition to the Mishnah, other tannaitic teachings were current at
about the same time or shortly thereafter. The
refers to these tannaitic statements in order to compare them to those
contained in the
Mishnah and to support or refute the propositions of
the Amoraim. All such non-Mishnaic tannaitic sources are termed
baraitot (lit. outside material, "works external to the Mishnah";
sing. baraita ברייתא).
The baraitot cited in the
Gemara are often quotations from the Tosefta
(a tannaitic compendium of halakha parallel to the Mishnah) and the
Midrash halakha (specifically Mekhilta,
Sifra and Sifre). Some
baraitot, however, are known only through traditions cited in the
Gemara, and are not part of any other collection.
Main article: Gemara
In the three centuries following the redaction of the Mishnah, rabbis
Babylonia analyzed, debated, and discussed that work.
These discussions form the
“completion” (from the Hebrew gamar גמר: "to complete") or
"learning" (from the Aramaic: "study"). The
Gemara mainly focuses on
elucidating and elaborating the opinions of the Tannaim. The rabbis of
Gemara are known as
Amoraim (sing. Amora אמורא).[citation
Much of the
Gemara consists of legal analysis. The starting point for
the analysis is usually a legal statement found in a Mishnah. The
statement is then analyzed and compared with other statements used in
different approaches to Biblical exegesis in rabbinic
Judaism (or -
simpler - interpretation of text in
Torah study) exchanges between two
(frequently anonymous and sometimes metaphorical) disputants, termed
the makshan (questioner) and tartzan (answerer). Another important
Gemara is to identify the correct Biblical basis for a
given law presented in the
Mishnah and the logical process connecting
one with the other: this activity was known as talmud long before the
existence of the "Talmud" as a text.
Halakha and Aggadah
The Talmud is a wide-ranging document that touches on a great many
subjects. Traditionally Talmudic statements are classified into two
broad categories, halakhic and aggadic statements. Halakhic statements
directly relate to questions of Jewish law and practice (halakha).
Aggadic statements are not legally related, but rather are exegetical,
homiletical, ethical, or historical in nature.
Main article: Minor tractate
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. These are not divided into
Mishnah and Gemara.
Bavli and Yerushalmi
The process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were then the two major
centers of Jewish scholarship, Galilee and Babylonia. Correspondingly,
two bodies of analysis developed, and two works of
created. The older compilation is called the
Jerusalem Talmud or the
Talmud Yerushalmi. It was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The
Talmud was compiled about the year 500, although it
continued to be edited later. The word "Talmud", when used without
qualification, usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud.
While the editors of
Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian
mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents
were written independently;
Louis Jacobs writes, "If the editors of
either had had access to an actual text of the other, it is
inconceivable that they would not have mentioned this. Here the
argument from silence is very convincing."
Talmud Yerushalmi (
A page of a medieval
Jerusalem Talmud manuscript, from the Cairo
Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda
de-Eretz Yisrael (
Talmud of the Land of Israel), was one of the two
compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary that was
transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish
scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings
of the schools of Tiberias, Sepphoris and Caesarea. It is written
largely in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western
Aramaic language that
differs from its Babylonian counterpart.
Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the
Mishnah that was
developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in
Galilee (principally those of
Tiberias and Caesarea.) Because of their
location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention
to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about
the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is
traditionally known as the
Talmud Yerushalmi ("
Jerusalem Talmud"), but
the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem. It has
more accurately been called "
The Talmud of the Land of Israel".
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. By this time
Christianity had become the
state religion of the
Roman Empire and
Jerusalem the holy city of
Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian
emperor, said "let us then have nothing in common with the detestable
Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an outcast and pauper. The
compilers of the
Jerusalem Talmud consequently lacked the time to
produce a work of the quality they had intended. The text is evidently
incomplete and is not easy to follow.
The apparent cessation of work on the
Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th
century has been associated with the decision of
Theodosius II in 425
to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of
semikhah, formal scholarly ordination. Some modern scholars have
questioned this connection: for more detail see
Place and date of composition.
Despite its incomplete state, the
Jerusalem Talmud remains an
indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law
in the Holy Land. It was also an important resource in the study of
Talmud by the
Kairouan school of Chananel ben Chushiel
and Nissim ben Jacob, with the result that opinions ultimately based
Jerusalem Talmud found their way into both the
Tosafot and the
Torah of Maimonides.
Following the formation of the modern state of
Israel there is some
interest in restoring Eretz Yisrael traditions. For example, Rabbi
David Bar-Hayim of the Makhon Shilo institute has issued a siddur
reflecting Eretz Yisrael practice as found in the
Jerusalem Talmud and
A full set of the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud Bavli) consists of documents compiled
over the period of
Late Antiquity (3rd to 5th centuries). During
this time the most important of the Jewish centres in Mesopotamia, a
region called "Babylonia" in Jewish sources and later known as Iraq,
were Nehardea, Nisibis (modern Nusaybin), Mahoza (al-Mada'in, just to
the south of what is now Baghdad),
Pumbedita (near present-day al
Anbar Governorate), and the Sura Academy, probably located about
60 km south of Baghdad.
Talmud comprises the
Mishnah and the Babylonian Gemara,
the latter representing the culmination of more than 300 years of
analysis of the
Mishnah in the Talmudic Academies in Babylonia. The
foundations of this process of analysis were laid by Abba Arika
(175–247 CE), a disciple of Judah the Prince. Tradition ascribes the
compilation of the Babylonian
Talmud in its present form to two
Rav Ashi and Ravina II.
Rav Ashi was president
Sura Academy from 375-427. The work begun by
Rav Ashi was
completed by Ravina, who is traditionally regarded as the final
Amoraic expounder. Accordingly, traditionalists argue that Ravina’s
death in 475 CE is the latest possible date for the completion of
the redaction of the Talmud. However, even on the most traditional
view a few passages are regarded as the work of a group of rabbis who
Talmud after the end of the Amoraic period , known as the
Savoraim or Rabbanan Savora'e (meaning "reasoners" or "considerers").
The question as to when the
Gemara was finally put into its present
form is not settled among modern scholars. Some, like Louis Jacobs,
argue that the main body of the
Gemara is not simple reportage of
conversations, as it purports to be, but a highly elaborate structure
contrived by the
Savoraim (roughly 500–650 CE), who must therefore
be regarded as the real authors. On this view the text did not reach
its final form until around 700. Some modern scholars use the term
Stammaim (from the Hebrew Stam, meaning "closed", "vague" or
"unattributed") for the authors of unattributed statements in the
Gemara. (See eras within Jewish law.)
Comparison of style and subject matter
There are significant differences between the two
The language of the
Jerusalem Talmud is a western Aramaic dialect,
which differs from the form of Aramaic in the Babylonian Talmud. The
Talmud Yerushalmi is often fragmentary and difficult to read, even for
experienced Talmudists. The redaction of the
Talmud Bavli, on the
other hand, is more careful and precise. The law as laid down in the
two compilations is basically similar, except in emphasis and in minor
Jerusalem Talmud has not received much attention from
commentators, and such traditional commentaries as exist are mostly
concerned with comparing its teachings to those of the
Jerusalem nor the Babylonian
Talmud covers the entire
Mishnah: for example, a Babylonian
Gemara exists only for 37 out of
the 63 tractates of the Mishnah. In particular:
Jerusalem Talmud covers all the tractates of Zeraim, while the
Talmud covers only tractate Berachot. The reason might be
that most laws from the Orders
Zeraim (agricultural laws limited to
the land of Israel) had little practical relevance in
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.
Jerusalem Talmud does not cover the Mishnaic order of Kodashim,
which deals with sacrificial rites and laws pertaining to the Temple,
while the Babylonian
Talmud does cover it. It is not clear why this
is, as the laws were not directly applicable in either country
following the Temple's 70 CE destruction.
In both Talmuds, only one tractate of
Tohorot (ritual purity laws) is
examined, that of the menstrual laws, Niddah.
Talmud records the opinions of the rabbis of the
Ma'arava (the West, meaning Israel/Palestine) as well as of those of
Babylonia, while the
Jerusalem Talmud only seldom cites the Babylonian
rabbis. The Babylonian version also contains the opinions of more
generations because of its later date of completion. For both these
reasons it is regarded as a more comprehensive collection of the
opinions available. On the other hand, because of the centuries of
redaction between the composition of the
Jerusalem and the Babylonian
Talmud, the opinions of early amoraim might be closer to their
original form in the
The influence of the Babylonian
Talmud has been far greater than that
of the Yerushalmi. In the main, this is because the influence and
prestige of the Jewish community of
Israel steadily declined in
contrast with the Babylonian community in the years after the
redaction of the
Talmud and continuing until the
Furthermore, the editing of the Babylonian
Talmud was superior to that
Jerusalem version, making it more accessible and readily
usable. According to
Maimonides (whose life began almost a hundred
years after the end of the
Gaonic era), all Jewish communities during
Gaonic era formally accepted the Babylonian
Talmud as binding upon
themselves, and modern Jewish practice follows the Babylonian Talmud's
conclusions on all areas in which the two Talmuds conflict.
Of the two main components of the Babylonian Talmud, the
written in Mishnaic Hebrew. Within the Gemara, the quotations from the
Mishnah and the Baraitas and verses of
Tanakh quoted and embedded in
Gemara are in Hebrew. The rest of the Gemara, including the
discussions of the
Amoraim and the overall framework, is in a
characteristic dialect of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. There are
occasional quotations from older works in other dialects of Aramaic,
such as Megillat Taanit. Overall, Hebrew constitutes somewhat less
than half of the text of the Talmud.
This difference in language is due to the long time period elapsing
between the two compilations. During the period of the
cited in the Mishnah), a late form of Hebrew known as Rabbinic or
Mishnaic Hebrew was still in use as a spoken vernacular among
Judaea (alongside Greek and Aramaic), whereas during the period of the
Amoraim (rabbis cited in the Gemara), which began around 200 CE, the
spoken vernacular was almost exclusively Aramaic. Hebrew continued to
be used for the writing of religious texts, poetry, and so forth.
The first complete edition of the Babylonian
Talmud was printed in
Daniel Bomberg 1520–23 with the support
of Pope Leo X. In addition to the
Mishnah and Gemara,
Bomberg's edition contained the commentaries of
Rashi and Tosafot.
Almost all printings since Bomberg have followed the same pagination.
Bomberg's edition was considered relatively free of censorship.
Following Ambrosius Frobenius's publication of most of the
installments in Basel, Immanuel
Benveniste published the whole Talmud
in installments in Amsterdam 1644–1648, Though according to
Raphael Rabbinovicz the
Talmud may have been based on the
Talmud and included many of the censors' errors.
Talmud 1795 and Vilna
The edition of the
Talmud published by the Szapira brothers in Slavuta
in 1795 is particularly prized by many rebbes of Hasidic Judaism. In
1835, after an acrimonious dispute with the Szapira family, a new
edition of the
Talmud was printed by Menachem Romm of Vilna. Known as
the Vilna Edition Shas, this edition (and later ones printed by his
widow and sons, the Romm publishing house) has been used in the
production of more recent editions of
A page number in the Vilna
Talmud refers to a double-sided page, known
as a daf, or folio in English; each daf has two amudim labeled א and
ב, sides A and B (
Recto and Verso). The convention of referencing by
daf is relatively recent and dates from the early
Talmud printings of
the 17th century, though the actual pagination goes back to the
Bomberg edition. Earlier rabbinic literature generally refers to the
tractate or chapters within a tractate (e.g. Berachot Chapter 1,
ברכות פרק א׳). It sometimes also refers to the specific
Mishnah in that chapter, where "Mishnah" is replaced with "Halakha",
here meaning route, to "direct" the reader to the entry in the Gemara
corresponding to that Mishna (e.g. Berachot Chapter 1
ברכות פרק א׳ הלכה א׳ would refer to the first Mishnah
of the first chapter in Tractate Berachot, and its corresponding entry
in the Gemara). However, this form is nowadays more commonly (though
not exclusively) used when referring to the
Nowadays, reference is usually made in format [Tractate daf a/b] (e.g.
Berachot 23b, ברכות כג ב׳). Increasingly, the symbols "." and
":" are used to indicate
Recto and Verso, respectively (thus, e.g.
Berachot 32:, :ברכות כג. These references always refer to the
pagination of the Vilna Talmud. In the Vilna edition of the Talmud
there are 5,894 folio pages.
Talmud 1897–1909, and German translation
Lazarus Goldschmidt published an edition from the "uncensored text" of
Talmud with a German translation in 9 vols. (commenced
Leipzig, 1897–1909, edition completed, following emigration to
England in 1933, by 1936).
The text of the Vilna editions is considered by scholars not to be
uniformly reliable, and there have been a number of attempts to
collate textual variants.
In the early 20th century Nathan Rabinowitz published a series of
volumes called Dikduke Soferim showing textual variants from early
manuscripts and printings.
In 1960 work started on a new edition under the name of Gemara
Shelemah (complete Gemara) under the editorship of Menachem Mendel
Kasher: only the volume on the first part of tractate Pesachim
appeared before the project was interrupted by his death. This edition
contained a comprehensive set of textual variants and a few selected
Some thirteen volumes have been published by the Institute for the
Talmud (a division of Yad Harav Herzog), on lines
similar to Rabinowitz, containing the text and a comprehensive set of
textual variants (from manuscripts, early prints and citations in
secondary literature) but no commentaries.
There have been critical editions of particular tractates (e.g. Henry
Malter's edition of Ta'anit), but there is no modern critical edition
of the whole Talmud. Modern editions such as those of the Oz ve-Hadar
Institute correct misprints and restore passages that in earlier
editions were modified or excised by censorship but do not attempt a
comprehensive account of textual variants. One edition, by
Amar, represents the Yemenite tradition, and takes the form of a
photostatic reproduction of a Vilna-based print to which Yemenite
vocalization and textual variants have been added by hand, together
with printed introductory material. Collations of the Yemenite
manuscripts of some tractates have been published by Columbia
Editions for a wider audience
A number of editions have been aimed at bringing the
Talmud to a wider
audience. The main ones are as follows.
The Steinsaltz Talmud, which contains the text with punctuation,
detailed explanations and translation. The Steinsaltz Edition is
available in two formats: one with the traditional Vilna page and one
without. It is available in modern Hebrew (first volume published
1969), English (first volume published 1989), French, Russian and
In May 2012, Koren Publishers
Jerusalem launched the new Koren Talmud
Bavli, a new version of the Steinsaltz
Talmud which features a new,
modern English translation and the commentary of
Steinsaltz. This edition won widespread praise as "America's most
important Jewish event", and for its "beautiful page" and "clean
type". It includes color photos and illustrations, and
Steinsaltz's historical, biographical and linguistic notes in modern
English translation. Opened as a Hebrew book, this edition preserves
the traditional Vilna page layout and includes vowels and punctuation;
Rashi commentary too is punctuated. Opened as an English book,
this edition breaks down the
Talmud text into small, thematic units
and features the supplementary notes along the margins.
The Schottenstein Talmud, published by ArtScroll: the first volume was
published in 1990, and the series was completed in 2004. Each page is
printed in the traditional Vilna format, and accompanied by an
expanded paraphrase in English, in which the translation of the text
is shown in bold and explanations are interspersed in normal type.
The Metivta edition, published by the Oz ve-Hadar Institute. This
contains the full text in the same format as the Vilna-based editions,
with a full explanation in modern Hebrew on facing pages as well as an
improved version of the traditional commentaries.
A previous project of the same kind, called
Talmud El Am, "
the people", was published in
Israel in the 1960s-80s.
The Talmud El
Am contains Hebrew text, English translation and commentary by Rabbi
Dr A. Ehrman, with short 'realia', marginal notes, often illustrated,
written by experts in the field for the whole of Tractate Berakhot, 2
chapters of Bava Mezia and the halachic section of Qiddushin, chapter
See also under Translations, below.
Part of a series of articles on
Editions of the Babylonian Talmud
There are six contemporary translations of the
Talmud into English:
The Noé Edition of the Koren
Talmud Bavli, Adin Steinsaltz, Koren
Publishers Jerusalem. This work was launched in 2012. Opened from the
Hebrew side, this edition features the traditional Vilna page with
vowels and punctuation in the original Aramaic text. The Rashi
commentary appears in
Rashi script with vowels and punctuation. Opened
from the English side, the edition features bi-lingual text with
side-by-side English/Aramaic translation. The margins include color
maps, illustrations and notes based on
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s
Hebrew language translation and commentary of the Talmud.
Tzvi Hersh Weinreb serves as the Editor-in-Chief. As of March 2017, 28
volumes have been published. The entire set will be 42 volumes.
The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition Adin Steinsaltz, Random House. This
work is an English edition of
Rabbi Steinsaltz' complete Hebrew
language translation of and commentary on the entire Talmud.
Incomplete—22 volumes and a reference guide.
Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud, Mesorah Publications (73
volumes). In this translation, each English page faces the
Aramaic/Hebrew page. The English pages are elucidated and heavily
annotated; each Aramaic/Hebrew page of
Talmud typically requires three
English pages of translation and notes. Complete.
The Soncino Talmud, Isidore Epstein,
Soncino Press (26 volumes; also
formerly an 18 volume edition was published). Notes on each page
provide additional background material. This translation is published
both on its own and in a parallel text edition, in which each English
page faces the Aramaic/Hebrew page. It is available also on CD-ROM.
The Talmud of Babylonia. An American Translation,
Jacob Neusner, Tzvee
Zahavy, others. Atlanta: 1984-1995: Scholars Press for Brown Judaic
The Babylonian Talmud, translated by Michael L. Rodkinson. (1903,
contains all of the tractates in the Orders of Mo'ed/Festivals and
Nezikin/Damages, plus some additional material related to these
Orders.) This is inaccurate and was wholly superseded
by the Soncino translation: it is sometimes linked to from the
internet because, for copyright reasons, it was until recently the
only translation freely available on the Web (see below, under Full
The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, edited by Jacob
Neusner and translated by
Jacob Neusner, Tzvee Zahavy, Alan
Avery-Peck, B. Barry Levy, Martin S. Jaffe, and Peter Haas,
Hendrickson Pub; 22-Volume Set Ed., Feb. 2011. It is a revision of
The Talmud of Babylonia: An Academic Commentary," published by the
University of South Florida Academic Commentary Series (1994-1999).
Neusner gives commentary on transition in use langes from Biblical
Aramaic to Biblical Hebrew. Neusner also gives references to Mishneh,
Torah, and other classical works in Orthodox Judaism.
There is one translation of the
Talmud into Arabic, published in 2012
Jordan by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The translation
was carried out by a group of 90 Muslim and
The introduction was characterized by Dr. Raquel Ukeles, Curator of
Israel National Library's Arabic collection, as "racist", but she
considers the translation itself as "not bad".
In February 2017, the William Davidson
Talmud was released to
Sefaria. This translation is a version of the Steinsaltz edition
which was released under creative commons license. 
Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and
Jacob Neusner, Tzvee Zahavy, others. University of Chicago
Press. This translation uses a form-analytical presentation that makes
the logical units of discourse easier to identify and follow. This
work has received many positive reviews. However, some consider
Neusner's translation methodology idiosyncratic. One volume was
negatively reviewed by
Saul Lieberman of the Jewish Theological
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).
Jerusalem Talmud, Edition, Translation and Commentary, ed.
Guggenheimer, Heinrich W., Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG,
German Edition, Übersetzung des
Talmud Yerushalmi, published by
Martin Hengel, Peter Schäfer, Hans-Jürgen Becker, Frowald Gil
Hüttenmeister, Mohr&Siebeck, Tübingen, Germany
Talmud Yerushalmi, ed. Joshua Buch. Uses the Leiden
manuscript as its based text corrected according to manuscripts and
Geniza Fragments. Draws upon Traditional and Modern Scholarship -
From the time of its completion, the
Talmud became integral to Jewish
scholarship. A maxim in
Pirkei Avot advocates its study from the age
of 15. This section outlines some of the major areas of Talmudic
Talmud commentaries were written by the
Geonim (c. 800 -
1000, CE) in Babylonia. Although some direct commentaries on
particular treatises are extant, our main knowledge of
Talmud scholarship comes from statements embedded in Geonic responsa
that shed light on Talmudic passages: these are arranged in the order
Talmud in Levin's Otzar ha-Geonim. Also important are practical
abridgments of Jewish law such as Yehudai Gaon's Halachot Pesukot,
Achai Gaon's Sheeltot and Simeon Kayyara's Halachot Gedolot. After the
death of Hai Gaon, however, the center of
Talmud scholarship shifts to
Europe and North Africa.
Halakhic and Aggadic extractions
One area of Talmudic scholarship developed out of the need to
ascertain the Halakha. Early commentators such as
(North Africa, 1013–1103) attempted to extract and determine the
binding legal opinions from the vast corpus of the Talmud. Alfasi's
work was highly influential, attracted several commentaries in its own
right and later served as a basis for the creation of halakhic codes.
Another influential medieval Halakhic work following the order of the
Babylonian Talmud, and to some extent modelled on Alfasi, was "the
Mordechai", a compilation by
Mordechai ben Hillel (c. 1250 – 1298).
A third such work was that of
Asher ben Yechiel (d. 1327). All
these works and their commentaries are printed in the Vilna and many
subsequent editions of the Talmud.
A 15th-century Spanish rabbi,
Jacob ibn Habib (d. 1516), composed the
Ein Yaakov (or En Ya'aqob) extracts nearly all the Aggadic
material from the Talmud. It was intended to familiarize the public
with the ethical parts of the
Talmud and to dispute many of the
accusations surrounding its contents.
Main article: Rabbinic literature
The Talmud is often cryptic and difficult to understand. Its language
contains many Greek and Persian words that became obscure over time. A
major area of Talmudic scholarship developed to explain these passages
and words. Some early commentators such as Rabbenu Gershom of Mainz
(10th century) and Rabbenu Ḥananel (early 11th century) produced
running commentaries to various tractates. These commentaries could be
read with the text of the
Talmud and would help explain the meaning of
the text. Another important work is the Sefer ha-Mafteaḥ (
the Key) by Nissim Gaon, which contains a preface explaining the
different forms of Talmudic argumentation and then explains
abbreviated passages in the
Talmud by cross-referring to parallel
passages where the same thought is expressed in full. Commentaries
Joseph ibn Migash on two tractates,
Bava Batra and
Shevuot, based on Ḥananel and Alfasi, also survive, as does a
Zechariah Aghmati called Sefer ha-Ner. Using a
Rabbi Nathan b. Jechiel created a lexicon called the
Arukh in the 11th century to help translate difficult words.
By far the best known commentary on the Babylonian
Talmud is that of
Solomon ben Isaac, 1040–1105). The commentary is
comprehensive, covering almost the entire Talmud. Written as a running
commentary, it provides a full explanation of the words, and explains
the logical structure of each Talmudic passage. It is considered
indispensable to students of the Talmud.
Medieval Ashkenazic Jewry produced another major commentary known as
Tosafot ("additions" or "supplements"). The
Tosafot are collected
commentaries by various medieval Ashkenazic Rabbis on the Talmud
Tosafists or Ba'alei Tosafot). One of the main goals of the
Tosafot is to explain and interpret contradictory statements in the
Talmud. Unlike Rashi, the
Tosafot is not a running commentary, but
rather comments on selected matters. Often the explanations of Tosafot
differ from those of Rashi.
Among the founders of the Tosafist school were
Jacob ben Meir
(known as Rabbeinu Tam), who was a grandson of Rashi, and, Rabbenu
Isaac ben Samuel. The
Tosafot commentaries were
collected in different editions in the various schools. The benchmark
Tosafot for Northern France was that of R. Eliezer of
Touques. The standard collection for Spain was that of Rabbenu Asher
("Tosefot Harosh"). The
Tosafot that are printed in the standard Vilna
edition of the
Talmud are an edited version compiled from the various
medieval collections, predominantly that of Touques.
Over time, the approach of the
Tosafists spread to other Jewish
communities, particularly those in Spain. This led to the composition
of many other commentaries in similar styles. Among these are the
Solomon ben Adret (Rashba), Yom
Tov of Seville (Ritva) and
Nissim of Gerona (Ran). A comprehensive
anthology consisting of extracts from all these is the Shittah
Mekubbetzet of Bezalel Ashkenazi.
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
Meir Abulafia and Bet Habechirah by
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. Like the commentaries of Ramban and
the others, these are generally printed as independent works, though
Talmud editions include the Shittah Mekubbetzet in an abbreviated
In later centuries, focus partially shifted from direct Talmudic
interpretation to the analysis of previously written Talmudic
commentaries. These later commentaries include "Maharshal" (Solomon
Luria), "Maharam" (Meir Lublin) and "Maharsha" (Samuel Edels), and are
generally printed at the back of each tractate.
Another very useful study aid, found in almost all editions of the
Talmud, consists of the marginal notes
Torah Or, Ein Mishpat Ner
Mitzvah and Masoret ha-Shas by the Italian rabbi Joshua Boaz, which
give references respectively to the cited Biblical passages, to the
relevant halachic codes and to related Talmudic passages.
Most editions of the
Talmud include brief marginal notes by Akiva Eger
under the name Gilyonot ha-Shas, and textual notes by
Joel Sirkes and
Vilna Gaon (see Textual emendations below), on the page together
with the text.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, a new intensive form of Talmud
study arose. Complicated logical arguments were used to explain minor
points of contradiction within the Talmud. The term pilpul was applied
to this type of study. Usage of pilpul in this sense (that of "sharp
analysis") harks back to the Talmudic era and refers to the
intellectual sharpness this method demanded.
Pilpul practitioners posited that the
Talmud could contain no
redundancy or contradiction whatsoever. New categories and
distinctions (hillukim) were therefore created, resolving seeming
contradictions within the
Talmud by novel logical means.
In the Ashkenazi world the founders of pilpul are generally considered
Jacob Pollak (1460–1541) and Shalom Shachna. This kind of
study reached its height in the 16th and 17th centuries when expertise
in pilpulistic analysis was considered an art form and became a goal
in and of itself within the yeshivot of Poland and Lithuania. But the
popular new method of
Talmud study was not without critics; already in
the 15th century, the ethical tract Orhot Zaddikim ("Paths of the
Righteous" in Hebrew) criticized pilpul for an overemphasis on
intellectual acuity. Many 16th- and 17th-century rabbis were also
critical of pilpul. Among them may be noted Judah Loew ben Bezalel
(the Maharal of Prague), Isaiah Horowitz, and Yair Bacharach.
By the 18th century, pilpul study waned. Other styles of learning such
as that of the school of Elijah b. Solomon, the Vilna Gaon, became
popular. The term "pilpul" was increasingly applied derogatorily to
novellae deemed casuistic and hairsplitting. Authors referred to their
own commentaries as "al derekh ha-peshat" (by the simple method) to
contrast them with pilpul.
Among Sephardi and Italian
Jews from the 15th century on, some
authorities sought to apply the methods of Aristotelian logic, as
reformulated by Averroes. This method was first recorded, though
without explicit reference to Aristotle, by
Isaac Campanton (d. Spain,
1463) in his Darkhei ha-
Talmud ("The Ways of the Talmud"), and is
also found in the works of
Moses Chaim Luzzatto.
According to the present-day Sephardi scholar José Faur, traditional
Talmud study could take place on any of three levels.
The most basic level consists of literary analysis of the text without
the help of commentaries, designed to bring out the tzurata
di-shema'ta, i.e. the logical and narrative structure of the
The intermediate level, 'iyyun (concentration), consists of study with
the help of commentaries such as
Rashi and the Tosafot, similar to
that practised among the Ashkenazim. Historically Sephardim
studied the Tosefot ha-Rosh and the commentaries of
preference to the printed Tosafot. A method based on the study of
Tosafot, and of Ashkenazi authorities such as
Maharsha (Samuel Edels)
and Maharshal (
Solomon Luria), was introduced in late seventeenth
century Tunisia by Rabbis
Abraham Hakohen (d. 1715) and Tsemaḥ
Tsarfati (d. 1717) and perpetuated by
Isaac Lumbroso and is
sometimes referred to as 'Iyyun Tunisa'i.
The highest level, halachah (Jewish law), consists of collating the
opinions set out in the
Talmud with those of the halachic codes such
as the Mishneh
Torah and the Shulchan Aruch, so as to study the Talmud
as a source of law. (A project called Halacha Brura, founded by
Isaac Kook, presents the
Talmud and a summary of the halachic
codes side by side in book form so as to enable this kind of
Today most Sephardic yeshivot follow Lithuanian approaches such as the
Brisker method: the traditional Sephardic methods are perpetuated
informally by some individuals. 'Iyyun Tunisa'i is taught at the Kisse
Rahamim yeshivah in Bnei Brak.
In the late 19th century another trend in
Talmud study arose. Rabbi
Hayyim Soloveitchik (1853–1918) of Brisk (Brest-Litovsk) developed
and refined this style of study.
Brisker method involves a
reductionistic analysis of rabbinic arguments within the
among the Rishonim, explaining the differing opinions by placing them
within a categorical structure. The
Brisker method is highly
analytical and is often criticized as being a modern-day version of
pilpul. Nevertheless, the influence of the
Brisker method is great.
Most modern day Yeshivot study the
Talmud using the
Brisker method in
some form. One feature of this method is the use of Maimonides'
Torah as a guide to Talmudic interpretation, as distinct from
its use as a source of practical halakha.
Rival methods were those of the Mir and Telz yeshivas.
As a result of Jewish emancipation,
Judaism underwent enormous
upheaval and transformation during the 19th century. Modern methods of
textual and historical analysis were applied to the Talmud.
The text of the
Talmud has been subject to some level of critical
scrutiny throughout its history. Rabbinic tradition holds that the
people cited in both Talmuds did not have a hand in its writings;
rather, their teachings were edited into a rough form around 450 CE
Talmud Yerushalmi) and 550 CE (
Talmud Bavli.) The text of the Bavli
especially was not firmly fixed at that time.
Gaonic responsa literature addresses this issue. Teshuvot Geonim
Kadmonim, section 78, deals with mistaken biblical readings in the
Gaonic responsum states:
"...But you must examine carefully in every case when you feel
uncertainty [as to the credibility of the text] - what is its source?
Whether a scribal error? Or the superficiality of a second rate
student who was not well versed?....after the manner of many mistakes
found among those superficial second-rate students, and certainly
among those rural memorizers who were not familiar with the biblical
text. And since they erred in the first place....[they compounded the
Geonim Kadmonim, Ed. Cassel, Berlin 1858, Photographic
reprint Tel Aviv 1964, 23b.
In the early medieval era,
Rashi already concluded that some
statements in the extant text of the
Talmud were insertions from later
editors. On Shevuot 3b
Rashi writes "A mistaken student wrote this in
the margin of the Talmud, and copyists subsequently put it into the
The emendations of
Yoel Sirkis and the
Vilna Gaon are included in all
standard editions of the Talmud, in the form of marginal glosses
entitled Hagahot ha-Bach and Hagahot ha-Gra respectively; further
Solomon Luria are set out in commentary form at the
back of each tractate. The Vilna Gaon's emendations were often based
on his quest for internal consistency in the text rather than on
manuscript evidence; nevertheless many of the Gaon's emendations
were later verified by textual critics, such as
Solomon Schechter, who
Cairo Genizah texts with which to compare our standard
In the 19th century Raphael Nathan Nota Rabinovicz published a
multi-volume work entitled Dikdukei Soferim, showing textual variants
from the Munich and other early manuscripts of the Talmud, and further
variants are recorded in the Complete Israeli
Talmud and Gemara
Shelemah editions (see Printing, above).
Today many more manuscripts have become available, in particular from
the Cairo Geniza. The
Academy of the Hebrew Language
Academy of the Hebrew Language has prepared a
text on CD-ROM for lexicographical purposes, containing the text of
each tractate according to the manuscript it considers most
reliable, and images of some of the older manuscripts may be found
on the website of the Jewish National and University Library. The
JNUL, the Lieberman Institute (associated with the Jewish Theological
Seminary of America), the Institute for the Complete Israeli Talmud
(part of Yad Harav Herzog) and the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society
all maintain searchable websites on which the viewer can request
variant manuscript readings of a given passage.
Further variant readings can often be gleaned from citations in
secondary literature such as commentaries, in particular those of
Alfasi, Rabbenu Ḥananel and Aghmati, and sometimes the later Spanish
commentators such as
Solomon ben Adret.
Historical analysis, and higher textual criticism
Historical study of the
Talmud can be used to investigate a variety of
concerns. One can ask questions such as: Do a given section's sources
date from its editor's lifetime? To what extent does a section have
earlier or later sources? Are Talmudic disputes distinguishable along
theological or communal lines? In what ways do different sections
derive from different schools of thought within early Judaism? Can
these early sources be identified, and if so, how? Investigation of
questions such as these are known as higher textual criticism. (The
term "criticism", it should be noted, is a technical term denoting
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.
In the 1870s and 1880s
Rabbi Raphael Natan Nata Rabbinovitz engaged in
historical study of
Talmud Bavli in his Diqduqei Soferim. Since then
many Orthodox rabbis have approved of his work, including Rabbis
Shlomo Kluger, Yoseph Shaul Ha-Levi Natanzohn, Yaaqov Ettlinger, Isaac
Elhanan Spektor and Shimon Sofer.
During the early 19th century, leaders of the newly evolving Reform
movement, such as
Abraham Geiger and Samuel Holdheim, subjected the
Talmud to severe scrutiny as part of an effort to break with
traditional rabbinic Judaism. They insisted that the
entirely a work of evolution and development. This view was rejected
as both academically incorrect, and religiously incorrect, by those
who would become known as the Orthodox movement. Some Orthodox leaders
Moses Sofer (the Chatam Sofer) became exquisitely sensitive to
any change and rejected modern critical methods of
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. They described the Oral
Torah as the result of a historical
and exegetical process, emerging over time, through the application of
authorized exegetical techniques, and more importantly, the subjective
dispositions and personalities and current historical conditions, by
learned sages. 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.
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.
The leader of Orthodox Jewry in Germany Samson Raphael Hirsch, while
not rejecting the methods of scholarship in principle, hotly contested
the findings of the Historical-Critical method. In a series of
articles in his magazine Jeschurun (reprinted in Collected Writings
Vol. 5) Hirsch reiterated the traditional view, and pointed out what
he saw as numerous errors in the works of Graetz, Frankel and Geiger.
On the other hand, many of the 19th century's strongest critics of
Reform, including strictly orthodox Rabbis such as Zvi Hirsch Chajes,
utilized this new scientific method. The Orthodox Rabbinical seminary
Azriel Hildesheimer was founded on the idea of creating a "harmony
Judaism and science". Another Orthodox pioneer of scientific
Talmud study was
David Zvi Hoffman.
The Iraqi rabbi
Yaakov Chaim Sofer
Yaakov Chaim Sofer notes that the text of the Gemara
has had changes and additions, and contains statements not of the same
origin as the original. See his Yehi Yosef (Jerusalem, 1991)
p. 132 "This passage does not bear the signature of the editor of
Orthodox scholar Daniel Sperber writes in "Legitimacy, of Necessity,
of Scientific Disciplines" that many Orthodox sources have engaged in
the historical (also called "scientific") study of the Talmud. As
such, the divide today between Orthodoxy and Reform is not about
Talmud may be subjected to historical study, but rather
about the theological and halakhic implications of such study.
Some trends within contemporary
Talmud scholarship are listed below.
Judaism maintains that the oral
Torah was revealed, in some
form, together with the written Torah. As such, some adherents, most
Samson Raphael Hirsch
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
Some scholars hold that there has been extensive editorial reshaping
of the stories and statements within the Talmud. Lacking outside
confirming texts, they hold that we cannot confirm the origin or date
of most statements and laws, and that we can say little for certain
about their authorship. In this view, the questions above are
impossible to answer. See, for example, the works of
Louis Jacobs and
Shaye J.D. Cohen.
Some scholars hold that the
Talmud has been extensively shaped by
later editorial redaction, but that it contains sources we can
identify and describe with some level of reliability. In this view,
sources can be identified by tracing the history and analyzing the
geographical regions of origin. See, for example, the works of Lee I.
Some scholars hold that many or most of the statements and events
described in the
Talmud usually occurred more or less as described,
and that they can be used as serious sources of historical study. In
this view, historians do their best to tease out later editorial
additions (itself a very difficult task) and skeptically view accounts
of miracles, leaving behind a reliable historical text. See, for
example, the works of Saul Lieberman,
David Weiss Halivni, and Avraham
Modern academic study attempts to separate the different "strata"
within the text, to try to interpret each level on its own, and to
identify the correlations between parallel versions of the same
tradition. In recent years, the works of R.
David Weiss Halivni and
Dr. Shamma Friedman have suggested a paradigm shift in the
understanding of the
Talmud (Encyclopaedia Judaica 2nd ed. entry
"Talmud, Babylonian"). The traditional understanding was to view the
Talmud as a unified homogeneous work. While other scholars had also
Talmud as a multi-layered work, Dr. Halivni's innovation
(primarily in the second volume of his Mekorot u-Mesorot) was to
differentiate between the Amoraic statements, which are generally
brief Halachic decisions or inquiries, and the writings of the later
"Stammaitic" (or Saboraic) authors, which are characterised by a much
longer analysis that often consists of lengthy dialectic discussion.
It has been noted that the
Jerusalem Talmud is in fact very similar to
Talmud minus Stammaitic activity (Encyclopaedia Judaica
(2nd ed.), entry "
Jerusalem Talmud"). Shamma Y. Friedman's Talmud
Aruch on the sixth chapter of
Bava Metzia (1996) is the first example
of a complete analysis of a Talmudic text using this method. S. Wald
has followed with works on Pesachim ch. 3 (2000) and Shabbat ch. 7
(2006). Further commentaries in this sense are being published by Dr
Friedman's "Society for the Interpretation of the Talmud".
Some scholars are indeed using outside sources to help give historical
and contextual understanding of certain areas of the Babylonian
Talmud. See for example the works of the Prof Yaakov Elman and of
his student Dr. Shai Secunda, which seek to place the
its Iranian context, for example by comparing it with contemporary
Role in Judaism
The Talmud represents the written record of an oral tradition. It
became the basis for many rabbinic legal codes and customs, most
importantly for the Mishneh
Torah and for the Shulchan Aruch. Orthodox
and, to a lesser extent, Conservative
Judaism accepts the
authoritative, while Samaritan, Karaite, Reconstructionist, and Reform
Judaism do not. This section briefly outlines past and current
movements and their view of the Talmud's role.
The Jewish sect of the
Sadducees (Hebrew: צְדוּקִים)
flourished during the
Second Temple period. Principal distinctions
between them and the
Pharisees (later known as Rabbinic Judaism)
involved their rejection of an Oral
Torah and their denying a
resurrection after death.
Another movement that rejected the oral
Torah was Karaism. It arose
within two centuries of the completion of the Talmud. 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 to the Written
Torah only. This opposes the fundamental Rabbinic concept that the
Torah was given to
Mount Sinai together with the Written
Torah. Some later Karaites took a more moderate stance, allowing that
some element of tradition (called sevel ha-yerushah, the burden of
inheritance) is admissible in interpreting the
Torah and that some
authentic traditions are contained in the
Mishnah and the Talmud,
though these can never supersede the plain meaning of the Written
The rise of Reform
Judaism during the 19th century saw more
questioning of the authority of the Talmud. Reform
Jews saw the Talmud
as a product of late antiquity, having relevance merely as a
historical document. For example, the "Declaration of Principles"
issued by the Association of Friends of Reform Frankfurt in August
1843 states among other things that:
The collection of controversies, dissertations, and prescriptions
commonly designated by the name
Talmud possesses for us no authority,
from either the dogmatic or the practical standpoint.
Some took a critical-historical view of the written
Torah as well,
while others appeared to adopt a neo-Karaite "back to the Bible"
approach, though often with greater emphasis on the prophetic than on
the legal books.
Within Humanistic Judaism,
Talmud is studied as a historical text, in
order to discover how it can demonstrate practical relevance to living
See also Halakha: Views today and Halakha: The sources and process of
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
Judaism and with
Talmud study a central part of the curriculum
in Orthodox Yeshivas and day schools. The regular study of Talmud
among laymen has been popularized by the Daf Yomi, a daily course of
Talmud study initiated by
Meir Shapiro in 1923; its 13th cycle
of study began on August, 2012. The
Rohr Jewish Learning Institute
Rohr Jewish Learning Institute has
popularized the "MyShiur - Explorations in Talmud" to show how the
Talmud is relevant to a wide range of people.
Judaism similarly emphasizes the study of
its religious and rabbinic education. Generally, however, Conservative
Jews study the
Talmud as a historical source-text for Halakha. The
Conservative approach to legal decision-making emphasizes placing
classic texts and prior decisions in historical and cultural context,
and examining the historical development of Halakha. This approach has
resulted in greater practical flexibility than that of the Orthodox.
Talmud study forms part of the curriculum of Conservative parochial
education at many Conservative day-schools, and an increase in
Conservative day-school enrollments has resulted in an increase in
Talmud study as part of Conservative
Jewish education among a minority
of Conservative Jews. See also: The Conservative Jewish view of the
Judaism does not emphasize the study of
Talmud to the same
degree in their Hebrew schools, but they do teach it in their
rabbinical seminaries; the world view of liberal
Judaism rejects the
idea of binding Jewish law, and uses the
Talmud as a source of
inspiration and moral instruction. Ownership and reading of the Talmud
is not widespread among Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, who usually
place more emphasis on the study of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.
In visual arts
In Carl Schleicher's paintings
Rabbis and talmudists studying and debating
Talmud abound in the art
of Austrian painter Carl Schleicher (1825-1903); active in Vienna,
especially c. 1859–1871.
Jewish Scene II
A Controversy Whatsoever on Talmud.
At the Rabbi's.
Jewish Scene I.
Jews studying Talmud, París, c. 1880-1905
Samuel Hirszenberg, Talmudic School, c. 1895-1908.
The Talmud Students, engraving, 1915
Maurycy Trębacz, The Dispute, c. 1920-1940
Solomon's Haggadoth, bronze relief from the Knesset Menorah,
Jerusalem, by Benno Elkan, 1956.
Hilel's Teachings, bronze relief from the Knesset Menorah
Jewish Mysticism: Jochanan ben Sakkai, bronze relief from the Knesset
The study of
Talmud is not restricted to those of the Jewish religion
and has attracted interest in other cultures.
Christian scholars have long expressed an interest in the study of
Talmud which has helped illuminate their own scriptures. Talmud
contains biblical exegesis and commentary on
Tanakh that will often
clarify elliptical and esoteric passages.
The Talmud contains possible
Jesus Christ and his disciples, while the Christian
canon makes mention of Talmudic figures and contains teachings that
can be paralleled within the
Talmud and Midrash.
The Talmud provides
cultural and historical context to the
Gospel and the writings of the
South Koreans reportedly hope to emulate Jews' high academic standards
by studying Jewish literature. Almost every household has a translated
copy of a book they call "Talmud", which parents read to their
children, and the book is part of the primary-school
curriculum. The "Talmud" in this case is usually one of
several possible volumes, the earliest translated into Korean from the
Japanese. The original Japanese books were created through the
collaboration of Japanese writer
Hideaki Kase and Marvin Tokayer, an
Orthodox American rabbi serving in Japan in the 1960s and 70s. The
first collaborative book was 5,000 Years of Jewish Wisdom: Secrets of
Talmud Scriptures, created over a three-day period in 1968 and
published in 1971. The book contains actual stories from the Talmud,
proverbs, ethics, Jewish legal material, biographies of Talmudic
rabbis, and personal stories about Tokayer and his family. Tokayer and
Kase published a number of other books on Jewish themes together in
The first South Korean publication of 5,000 Years of Jewish Wisdom was
in 1974, by Tae Zang publishing house. Many different editions
followed in both Korea and China, often by black-market publishers.
Between 2007 and 2009, Reverend Yong-soo Hyun of the Shema Yisrael
Educational Institute published a 6-volume edition of the Korean
Talmud, bringing together material from a variety of Tokayer's earlier
books. He worked with Tokayer to correct errors and Tokayer is listed
as the author. Tutoring centers based on this and other works called
"Talmud" for both adults and children are popular in Korea and
"Talmud" books (all based on Tokayer's works and not the original
Talmud) are widely read and known.
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Historian Michael Levi Rodkinson, in his book The History of the
Talmud, wrote that detractors of the Talmud, both during and
subsequent to its formation, "have varied in their character, objects
and actions" and the book documents a number of critics and
persecutors, including Nicholas Donin, Johannes Pfefferkorn, Johann
Andreas Eisenmenger, the Frankists, and August Rohling. Many
attacks come from antisemitic sources, particularly Christians such as
Elizabeth Dilling or
David Duke. Criticisms also
arise from Muslim sources, Jewish sources, and
atheists and skeptics. Accusations against the
Christian or anti-Gentile content
Absurd or sexually immoral content
Falsification of scripture
Defenders of the
Talmud argue that many of these criticisms,
particularly those in antisemitic sources, are based on quotations
that are taken out of context, and thus misrepresent the meaning of
the Talmud's text. Sometimes the misrepresentation is deliberate, and
other times simply due to an inability to grasp the subtle and
sometimes confusing narratives in the Talmud. Some quotations provided
by critics deliberately omit passages in order to generate quotes that
appear to be offensive or insulting.
At the very time that the Babylonian savoraim put the finishing
touches to the redaction of the Talmud, the emperor Justinian issued
his edict against deuterosis (doubling, repetition) of the Hebrew
Bible. It is disputed whether, in this context, deuterosis means
"Mishnah" or "Targum": in patristic literature, the word is used in
Full-scale attacks on the
Talmud took place in the 13th century in
France, where Talmudic study was then flourishing. In the 1230s,
Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, pressed 35 charges
Pope Gregory IX
Pope Gregory IX by translating a series of
blasphemous passages about Jesus, Mary or Christianity. There is a
quoted Talmudic passage, for example, where
Jesus of Nazareth is sent
to Hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity. Donin also selected an
injunction of the
Talmud that permits
Jews to kill non-Jews. This led
to the Disputation of Paris, which took place in 1240 at the court of
Louis IX of France, where four rabbis, including
Yechiel of Paris and
Jacob of Coucy, defended the
Talmud against the accusations
of Nicholas Donin. The translation of the
Talmud from Hebrew to
Jewish languages stripped Jewish discourse from its covering,
something that was resented by
Jews as a profound violation. The
Disputation of Paris
Disputation of Paris led to the condemnation and the first burning of
copies of the
Talmud in Paris in 1242. The burning of
copies of the
The Talmud was likewise the subject of the
Disputation of Barcelona in
Moses ben Nahman) and Christian
convert, Pablo Christiani. This same
Pablo Christiani made an attack
Talmud that resulted in a papal bull against the
Talmud and in
the first censorship, which was undertaken at Barcelona by a
commission of Dominicans, who ordered the cancellation of passages
deemed objectionable from a
Christian perspective (1264).
Disputation of Tortosa
Disputation of Tortosa in 1413, Geronimo de Santa Fé brought
forward a number of accusations, including the fateful assertion that
the condemnations of "pagans," "heathens," and "apostates" found in
Talmud were in reality veiled references to Christians. These
assertions were denied by the Jewish community and its scholars, who
contended that Judaic thought made a sharp distinction between those
classified as heathen or pagan, being polytheistic, and those who
acknowledge one true God (such as the Christians) even while
worshipping the true monotheistic God incorrectly. Thus,
Christians as misguided and in error, but not among the "heathens" or
"pagans" discussed in the Talmud.
Pablo Christiani and Geronimo de Santa Fé, in addition to
criticizing the Talmud, also regarded it as a source of authentic
traditions, some of which could be used as arguments in favour of
Christianity. Examples of such traditions were statements that the
Messiah was born around the time of the destruction of the Temple, and
Messiah sat at the right hand of God.
In 1415, Antipope Benedict XIII, who had convened the Tortosa
disputation, issued a papal bull (which was destined, however, to
remain inoperative) forbidding the
Jews to read the Talmud, and
ordering the destruction of all copies of it. Far more important were
the charges made in the early part of the 16th century by the convert
Johannes Pfefferkorn, the agent of the Dominicans. The result of these
accusations was a struggle in which the emperor and the pope acted as
judges, the advocate of the
Jews being Johann Reuchlin, who was
opposed by the obscurantists; and this controversy, which was carried
on for the most part by means of pamphlets, became in the eyes of some
a precursor of the Reformation.
An unexpected result of this affair was the complete printed edition
of the Babylonian
Talmud issued in 1520 by
Daniel Bomberg at Venice,
under the protection of a papal privilege. Three years later, in
1523, Bomberg published the first edition of the
After thirty years the Vatican, which had first permitted the Talmud
to appear in print, undertook a campaign of destruction against it. On
the New Year, Rosh Hashanah (September 9, 1553) the copies of the
Talmud confiscated in compliance with a decree of the
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
Talmud was included in the first Index Expurgatorius; and
Pope Pius IV
Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the
Talmud be deprived of its
very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah
sidre Mishnah) instead of "Talmud" dates from this time.
The first edition of the expurgated Talmud, on which most subsequent
editions were based, appeared at
Basel (1578–1581) with the omission
of the entire treatise of 'Abodah Zarah and of passages considered
inimical to Christianity, together with modifications of certain
phrases. A fresh attack on the
Talmud was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII
(1575–85), and in 1593 Clement VIII renewed the old interdiction
against reading or owning it. The increasing study of
Talmud in Poland led to the issue of a complete edition (Kraków,
1602-5), with a restoration of the original text; an edition
containing, so far as known, only two treatises had previously been
Lublin (1559–76). In 1707 some copies of the Talmud
were confiscated in the province of Brandenburg, but were restored to
their owners by command of Frederick, the first king of
Prussia. A further attack on the
Talmud took place in
Poland (in what is now Ukrainian territory) in 1757, when Bishop
Dembowski, at the instigation of the Frankists, convened a public
disputation at Kamianets-Podilskyi, and ordered all copies of the work
found in his bishopric to be confiscated and burned.
The external history of the
Talmud includes also the literary attacks
made upon it by some
Christian theologians after the Reformation,
since these onslaughts on
Judaism were directed primarily against that
work, the leading example being Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judenthum
Judaism Unmasked) (1700). In contrast, the
a subject of rather more sympathetic study by many Christian
theologians, jurists and Orientalists from the
including Johann Reuchlin, John Selden, Petrus Cunaeus, John Lightfoot
Johannes Buxtorf father and son.
19th century and after
The Vilna edition of the
Talmud was subject to Russian government
censorship, or self-censorship to meet government expectations, though
this was less severe than some previous attempts: the title "Talmud"
was retained and the tractate
Avodah Zarah was included. Most modern
editions are either copies of or closely based on the Vilna edition,
and therefore still omit most of the disputed passages. Although they
were not available for many generations, the removed sections of the
Maharsha were preserved through rare
printings of lists of errata, known as Chesronos Hashas ("Omissions of
the Talmud"). Many of these censored portions were recovered from
uncensored manuscripts in the Vatican Library. Some modern editions of
Talmud contain some or all of this material, either at the back of
the book, in the margin, or in its original location in the text.
In 1830, during a debate in the French Chamber of Peers regarding
state recognition of the Jewish faith, Admiral Verhuell declared
himself unable to forgive the
Jews whom he had met during his travels
throughout the world either for their refusal to recognize
Messiah or for their possession of the Talmud. In the same
year the Abbé
Chiarini published a voluminous work entitled Théorie
du Judaïsme, in which he announced a translation of the Talmud,
advocating for the first time a version that would make the work
generally accessible, and thus serve for attacks on Judaism: only two
out of the projected six volumes of this translation appeared. In
a like spirit 19th-century anti-Semitic agitators often urged that a
translation be made; and this demand was even brought before
legislative bodies, as in Vienna.
The Talmud and the "
Talmud Jew" thus
became objects of anti-Semitic attacks, for example in August
Rohling's Der Talmudjude (1871), although, on the other hand, they
were defended by many
Christian students of the Talmud, notably
Further attacks from anti-Semitic sources include Justinas Pranaitis'
The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning
Christians (1892) and Elizabeth Dilling's The Plot against
Christianity (1964). The criticisms of the
Talmud in many modern
pamphlets and websites are often recognisable as verbatim quotes from
one or other of these.
Criticism of the
Talmud is widespread, in great part through the
internet. The Anti-Defamation League's report on this topic
states that antisemitic critics of the
Talmud frequently use erroneous
translations or selective quotations in order to distort the meaning
of the Talmud's text, and sometimes fabricate passages. In addition,
the attackers rarely provide full context of the quotations, and fail
to provide contextual information about the culture that the Talmud
was composed in, nearly 2,000 years ago.
One such example concerns the line "If a Jew be called upon to explain
any part of the rabbinic books, he ought to give only a false
explanation. Who ever will violate this order shall be put to death."
alleged to be a quote from a book titled Libbre
Livore David). No such book exists in the
Talmud or elsewhere.
The title is assumed to be a corruption of Dibre David, a work
published in 1671. Reference to the quote is found in an early
Holocaust denial book, The Six Million Reconsidered by William
Gil Student, an internet author, states that many attacks on the
Talmud are merely recycling discredited material that originated in
the 13th-century disputations, particularly from
Raymond Marti and
Nicholas Donin, and that the criticisms are based on quotations taken
out of context, and are sometimes entirely fabricated.
Jesus in the Talmud
List of logical arguments in the Talmud
Talmudic Academies in Babylonia
Talmudic Academies in Syria Palaestina
^ Steinberg, Paul; Greenstein Potter, Janet (2007). Celebrating the
Jewish Year: The Fall Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur. The Jewish
Publication Society. p. 42. ISBN 9780827608429.
^ Steinsaltz, Adin (2009). "What is the Talmud?". The Essential Talmud
(30th anniversary ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 9780786735419.
Jacob (2003). The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud. Wipf
and Stock Publishers. p. ix. ISBN 9781592442195.
^ Safrai, S. (1969). "The Era of the
Talmud (70-640)". In
Ben-Sasson, H. H. A History of the Jewish People. Translated by
Weidenfeld, George. Harvard University Press (published 1976).
p. 379. ISBN 9780674397316.
Abraham (1987). "The Palestinian Talmud". In Safrai,
Shmuel. The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the
Second Temple and the Talmud, Volume 3 The Literature of the Sages.
^ Jastrow, Morris Jr.; Rogers, Robert W.; Gottheil, Richard; Krauss,
Samuel (1901–1906). Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk and
Wagnalls. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
The Talmud gives the boundaries
of as much of
Babylonia as contained Jewish residents
^ See, Strack, Hermann, Introduction to the
Talmud and Midrash, Jewish
Publication Society, 1945. pp.11-12. "[The Oral Torah] was handed down
by word of mouth during a long period...The first attempts to write
down the traditional matter, there is reason to believe, date from the
first half of the second post-
Christian century." Strack theorizes
that the growth of a
Christian canon (the New Testament) was a factor
that influenced the Rabbis to record the oral
Torah in writing.
^ 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.
^ For the meaning of "page" in this context see under #Printing.
^ Jacobs, Louis, Structure and form in the Babylonian Talmud,
Cambridge University Press, 1991, p.2
Pirkei Avot 5.21: "five for the Torah, ten for Mishnah,
thirteen for the commandments, fifteen for talmud".
^ "Talmud". A Concise Companion to the Jewish Religion. Louis Jacobs.
Oxford University Press, 1999, page 261
^ "Palestinian Talmud".
Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia
Britannica. 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
^ The Yerushalmi--the
Talmud of the land of Israel: an introduction,
Jacob Neusner, J. Aronson, 1993
^ Eusebius. "XVIII: He speaks of their Unanimity respecting the Feast
of Easter, and against the Practice of the Jews". Vita Constantini.
III (circa 330 CE). Retrieved June 21, 2009.
Midrash (Judaism) :: The making of the Talmuds:
3rd-6th century". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica
Online. 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
^ Moshe Gil (2004).
Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages.
^ Nosson Dovid Rabinowich (ed), The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon,
Jerusalem 1988, pp. 79, 116
^ Nosson Dovid Rabinowich (ed), The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon,
Jerusalem 1988, p. 116
^ Steinsaltz, Adin (1976). The Essential Talmud. BasicBooks, A
Division of HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-465-02063-1.
^ "Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress: The Talmud".
American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.
^ Sáenz-Badillos, Ángel and John Elwolde. 1996. A history of the
Hebrew language. P.170-171: "There is general agreement that two main
periods of RH (Rabbinical Hebrew) can be distinguished. The first,
which lasted until the close of the Tannaitic era (around 200 CE), is
characterized by RH as a spoken language gradually developing into a
literary medium in which the Mishnah, Tosefta, baraitot, and Tannaitic
midrashim would be composed. The second stage begins with the Amoraim,
and sees RH being replaced by Aramaic as the spoken vernacular,
surviving only as a literary language. Then it continued to be used in
later rabbinic writings until the 10th century in, for example, the
Hebrew portions of the two Talmuds and in midrashic and haggadic
^ Dalin 2012, p. 25.
^ Gottheil & Broydé 1906.
^ Heller 2005, p. 73.
^ Amram 1909, p. 162.
^ Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. The Censor, the Editor, and the Text: The
Catholic Church and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon in the Sixteenth
Century. Trans. Jackie Feldman. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 2007. viii + 314 ISBN 978-0-8122-4011-5. p104
^ Christiane Berkvens-Stevelinck Le Magasin De L'Univers - The Dutch
Republic As the Centre of the European
Book Trade (Brill's Studies in
^ Printing the Talmud: a history of the individual treatises p239
Marvin J. Heller - 1999 "The
Benveniste Talmud, according to
Rabbinovicz, was based on the
Talmud which included many of the
^ The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
Isaac Landman - 1941 "His greatest
work was the translation of the entire Babylonian
Talmud into German,
which, as it was made from the uncensored text and was the only
complete translation in a European language, was of great value for
^ Friedman, “Variant Readings in the Babylonian
Talmud — A
Methodological Study Marking the Appearance of 13 Volumes of the
Institute for the Complete Israeli Talmud’s Edition,” Tarbiz 68
^ Amar, Yosef. "
Talmud Bavli be-niqqud Temani".
^ Julius Joseph Price, The Yemenite ms. of Megilla (in the Library of
Columbia university), 1916; Pesahim, 1913; Mo'ed Katon, 1920.
^ Ackerman, Matthew. “America’s Most Important Jewish Event?”,
'Commentary', June 26, 2012.
^ "Queen for a Day", Tablet Magazine, 5 February 2013
^ The other Oz ve-Hadar editions are similar but without the
explanation in modern Hebrew.
Jacob (2011-02-01). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation
and Commentary (22-Volume Set ed. edition ed.). Peabody, Mass:
Hendrickson Pub. ISBN 9781598565263. CS1 maint: Extra text
Talmud in Arabic
^ "Arab translation of
Talmud includes anti-Israeli messages".
Talmud (William Davidson)". www.sefaria.org. Retrieved 4 June
Pirkei Avot is a tractate of the Mishnah, and reached its final
form centuries before the compilation of either Talmud, this refers to
talmud as an activity rather than to any written compilation.
^ "HebrewBooks.org Sefer Detail: ספר הנר - ברכות --
אגמתי, זכריה בן יהודה".
^ For a list see Ephraim Urbach, s.v. "Tosafot," in Encyclopedia of
^ See Pilpul, Mordechai Breuer, in Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 16, 2nd
Ed (2007), Macmillan Reference, USA and H.H. Ben Sasson, A History of
the Jewish People, pp. 627, 717.
^ Kol Melechet Higgayon, the Hebrew translation of Averroes' epitome
of Aristotle's logical works, was widely studied in northern Italy,
^ Boyarin, Sephardi Speculation (Hebrew) (
^ For a comprehensive treatment, see Ravitzky, below.
^ Faur is here describing the tradition of Damascus, though the
approach in other places may have been similar.
^ Examples of lessons using this approach may be found here[permanent
^ Cf. the distinction in the Ashkenazi yeshivah curriculum between
beki'ut (basic familiarization) and 'iyyun (in-depth study).
David ben Judah Messer Leon, Kevod Ḥakhamim, cited by Zimmels,
Ashkenazim and Sephardim, pp. 151 and 154.
^ Chaim Joseph
David Azulai, Shem Gedolim, cited Hirschberg, A History
Jews in North Africa, pp 125-6.
^ Joseph Ringel, "A Third Way: Iyyun Tunisai as a Traditional Critical
Talmud Study", Tradition 2013 46:3.
^ Rav Avraham Yitzchok Ha-Cohen Kook, zt"l, Late Chief
Rabbi of Israel
(February 17, 2008). "A labor of great magnitude stands before us, to
repair the break between the Talmudic deliberations and the halachic
decisions... to accustom students of the
Gemara to correlate knowledge
of all the halacha with its source and reason..." Halacha Brura and
Birur Halacha Institute. Retrieved 20 September 2010. CS1 maint:
Multiple names: authors list (link) It should not be confused with the
halachic compendium of the same name by
^ For a humorous description of the different methods, see Gavriel
Bechhofer's An Analysis of Darchei HaLimud (Methodologies of Talmud
Study) Centering on a Cup of Tea.
^ As Yonah Fraenkel shows in his book Darko Shel
Talmud ha-Bavli, one of Rashi's major accomplishments was textual
emendation. Rabbenu Tam, Rashi's grandson and one of the central
figures in the Tosafist academies, polemicizes against textual
emendation in his less studied work Sefer ha-Yashar. However, the
Tosafists, too, emended the Talmudic text (See e.g. Baba Kamma 83b
s.v. af haka'ah ha'amurah or
Gittin 32a s.v. mevutelet) as did many
other medieval commentators (see e.g. R. Shlomo ben Aderet, Hiddushei
ha-Rashb"a al ha-Sha"s to Baba Kamma 83b, or Rabbenu Nissim's
commentary to Alfasi on
^ Etkes, Immanuel (2002). The Gaon of Vilna. University of California
Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-520-22394-2.
Solomon Schechter, Studies in
^ Introduction to Sokoloff, Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic.
^ "אוצר כתבי יד תלמודיים". Archived from the
original on 2006-12-12.
^ See under #Manuscripts and textual variants, below.
^ See particularly his controversial dissertation, Mar Samuel,
available at archive.org (German).
^ [www.entry.co.il], entry interactive. "Igud HaTalmud".
^ Yaacov Elman (November 2012). Steven Fine; Shai Secunda, eds.
Shoshannat Yaakov: Jewish and Iranian Studies in Honor of Yaakov
Elman. Brill Academic Pub Publishers. ISBN 978-9004235441.
Retrieved 11 November 2013.
^ Shai Secunda (October 2013). The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli
in Its Sasanian Context. University of Pennsylvania Press.
ISBN 978-0812245707. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
Talmud Study - The City Congregation for Humanistic
^ Lakein, Dvora (December 28, 2007). "Chabad Unveils Talmudic Study
Program In 15 Cities". New York. Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch.
^ See Schleicher's paintings at MutualArt.
^ "Why Christians Should Study
Torah and Talmud". Bridges for Peace.
Retrieved July 3, 2006.
^ Hirschfield, Tzofia (2011-05-12). "Why Koreans study Talmud". Jewish
World. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
^ Alper, Tim (2011-05-12). "Why South Koreans are in love with
Judaism". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
^ a b Ross Arbes (June 23, 2015). "How the
Talmud Became a Best-Seller
in South Korea". The New Yorker.
^ a b Rodkinson
^ Lewis, Bernard, Semites and anti-Semites: an inquiry into conflict
and prejudice, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, p. 134
^ Johnson, Paul, A history of the Jews, HarperCollins, 1988, p. 577
^ Arab attitudes to Israel, Yehoshafat Harkabi, p. 248, 272
^ Such as Uriel da Costa,
Israel Shahak and Baruch Kimmerling
^ Such as
Christopher Hitchens and Denis Diderot
^ Hyam Maccoby,
Judaism on Trial
^ ADL report
The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics Archived 2010-08-05
at the Wayback Machine., Anti-Defamation League
^ Student, Gil - Rebuttals to criticisms of Talmud
^ Bacher, Wilhelm, "Talmud", article in Jewish Encyclopedia, Funk
& Wagnalls Company, 1901
^ "TALMUD - JewishEncyclopedia.com".
^ "TALMUD - JewishEncyclopedia.com".
^ Fraade, pp. 144-146
^ Kimmerling, Baruch, "Images of Gentiles" (book review), Journal of
Palestine Studies, April 1997, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 96–98
^ Siedman, p. 137
^ Cohn-Sherbok, p. 48
^ Steinsaltz, pp. 268-270
^ See, for example, Uriel DaCosta, quoted by Nadler, p. 68
^ Cohn-Sherbok, p. 47
^ Wilhelm Bacher, "Talmud", article in Jewish Encyclopedia
^ ADL report, p. 1-2
^ For examples of some selective quoting and omissions, see:Responses
to criticisms by Gil Student:Responses to criticisms by Michael Gruda
^ Nov. 146.1.2.
^ Naomi Seidman, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-
Christian Difference and
the Politics of Translation, pp. 136-138
^ Rodkinson, pp 66–69
^ Levy, p 701
^ For a Hebrew account of the Paris Disputation, see Jehiel of Paris,
"The Disputation of Jehiel of Paris" (Hebrew), in Collected Polemics
and Disputations, ed. J. D. Eisenstein, Hebrew Publishing Company,
1922; Translated and reprinted by
Hyam Maccoby in
Judaism on Trial:
Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages, 1982
^ James Carroll Constantine's sword: the church and the Jews : a
^ Cohn-Sherbok, pp 50-54
^ a b c Maccoby
^ Hyam Maccoby, op. cit.
^ Roth, Norman, Medieval Jewish civilization: an encyclopedia, Taylor
& Francis, 2003, p. 83
^ Rodkinson, p 98
^ Hastings, James. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 23, p 186
^ Rodkinson, pp 100-103
^ Rodkinson, p. 105
^ Levy, p. 210
^ Boettcher, Susan R., "Entdecktes Judenthum", article in Levy, p. 210
^ Berlin, George L., Defending the faith: nineteenth-century American
Jewish writings on
Christianity and Jesus, SUNY Press, 1989, p 156
^ Chesronos Hashas Archived 2008-10-02 at the Wayback Machine.
^ The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition, pp. 103-104 Heller, Marvin J.
(1999). Printing the Talmud: a history of the individual treatises
printed from 1700 to 1750. Basel: Brill Publishers. pp. 17,
^ "Page:Archives israelites 1851 tome12.djvu/647 - Wikisource".
^ "CHIARINI, LUIGI - JewishEncyclopedia.com".
^ Rodkinson, pp 109-114
^ Levy, p 564
^ Jeansonne, Glen, Women of the Far Right: The Mothers' Movement and
World War II, University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp 168-169
^ Jones, Jeremy (June 1999). "Talmudic Terrors". Australia/Israel
Review. Archived from the original on 2002-03-30. Retrieved
2008-06-12. If any reader doubts the maliciousness, virulence and
prevalence of such material in cyber-space, it is well worth a visit
to the Internet site known as
(www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/8815 [now at
http://www.oocities.org/athens/cyprus/8815/]), in which Melbourne's
David Maddison has performed the Herculean task of responding, one by
one, to the hundreds of "anti-Talmud" quotes, lies and themes he has
encountered on the Internet. .
The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics" (PDF) (Press release).
Anti-Defamation League. February 2003. Archived from the original
(PDF) on August 5, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. By selectively
citing various passages from the
Talmud and Midrash, polemicists have
sought to demonstrate that
Judaism espouses hatred for non-
specifically for Christians), 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 (wholesale fabrication of passages is not
unknown).…In distorting the normative meanings of rabbinic texts,
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. Those who attack the Talmud
frequently cite ancient rabbinic sources without noting subsequent
developments in Jewish thought, and without making a good-faith effort
to consult with contemporary Jewish authorities who can explain the
role of these sources in normative Jewish thought and practice.
^ Kominsky, Morris (1970). The hoaxers: plain liars, fancy liars, and
damned liars. Boston: Branden Press. pp. 169–176.
ISBN 08283-1288-5. LCCN 76109134. Libbre
David 37. This is a
complete fabrication. No such book exists in the
Talmud or in the
entire Jewish literature.
^ Andrew J. Hurley (1991).
Israel and the New World Order. Foundation
for a New World Order, Santa Barbara,: Fithian Press.
^ The Six Million Reconsidered: A
Special Report by the Committee for
Truth in History, p. 16 Historical Review Press, 1979
^ Student, Gil (2000). "The Real Truth About The Talmud". Retrieved
September 16, 2010. Anti-
Talmud accusations have a long history dating
back to the 13th century when the associates of the Inquisition
attempted to defame
Jews and their religion [see Yitzchak Baer, A
Christian Spain, vol. I pp. 150-185]. The early
material compiled by hateful preachers like Raymond Martini and
Nicholas Donin remain the basis of all subsequent accusations against
the Talmud. Some are true, most are false and based on quotations
taken out of context, and some are total fabrications [see Baer, ch. 4
f. 54, 82 that it has been proven that Raymond Martini forged
quotations]. On the Internet today we can find many of these old
accusations being rehashed…
David Werner (1909). The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy.
Philadelphia: J. H. Greenstone.
Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo The Infinite Chain: Torah, Masorah, and Man
(Philipp Feldheim, 1989). ISBN 0-944070-15-9
Aryeh Carmell (December 1986). Aiding
Talmud study. Feldheim
Publishers. ISBN 978-0-87306-428-6. Retrieved 29 August
2011. (includes Samuel ha-Nagid's Mevo ha-Talmud, see next
Zvi Hirsch Chajes Mevo Hatalmud, transl.
Jacob Shachter: The Students'
The Talmud (Yashar Books, 2005). ISBN 1-933143-05-3
Dalin, D.G. (2012). The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII And His
Secret War Against Nazi Germany. Regnery Publishing.
ISBN 978-1-59698-185-0. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
Dan Cohn-Sherbok (1994).
Judaism and other faiths. Palgrave Macmillan.
ISBN 978-0-312-10384-2. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
Fraade, Steven D, "Navigating the Anomalous: Non-
Jews at the
Intersection of Early Rabbinic Law and Narrative", in Laurence Jay
Silberstein; Robert L. Cohn (1 August 1994). The Other in Jewish
thought and history: constructions of
Jewish culture and identity. NYU
Press. pp. 145–165. ISBN 978-0-8147-7990-3. Retrieved 29
Gottheil, Richard; Broydé,
Isaac (1906). "Leo X. (Giovanni De
Medici)". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
Heller, Marvin J (2005). "Earliest Printings of the Talmud: From
Bomberg to Schottenstein" (PDF).
Yeshiva University Museum: 73.
R. Travers Herford (15 February 2007).
Midrash. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-88125-930-8.
Retrieved 29 August 2011.
D. Landesman A Practical Guide to
Torah Learning (Jason Aronson,
1995). ISBN 1-56821-320-4
Emmanuel Lévinas; Annette Aronowicz (February 1994). Nine Talmudic
readings. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-20876-7.
Retrieved 29 August 2011.
Levy, Richard S., Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice
and persecution, Volume 2, ABC-CLIO, 2005. See articles: "Talmud
Trials", "Entdecktes Judenthum", "
The Talmud Jew", "
"August Rohling", and "Johannes Pfefferkorn".
Hyam Maccoby; Jehiel ben Joseph (of Paris) (1993).
Judaism on trial:
Christian disputations in the Middle Ages. Fairleigh Dickinson
University Press. ISBN 978-1-874774-16-7. Retrieved 29 August
2011. A compendium of primary source materials, with commentary.
Maimonides Introduction to the Mishneh
Torah (English translation)
Maimonides Introduction to the Commentary on the
Fulltext), transl. Zvi Lampel (Judaica Press, 1998).
Aaron Parry The Complete Idiot's Guide to
The Talmud (Alpha Books,
2004). ISBN 1-59257-202-2
Rodkinson, Michael Levi, The history of the
Talmud from the time of
its formation, about 200 B.C., up to the present time, The Talmud
Jonathan Rosen (25 October 2001).
The Talmud and the Internet: A
Journey Between Worlds. Continuum International Publishing Group.
ISBN 978-0-8264-5534-5. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
Adin Steinsaltz (11 September 2006). The essential Talmud. Basic
Books. ISBN 978-0-465-08273-5. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
Read more here. See also here.
Adin Steinsaltz The Talmud: A Reference Guide (Random House, 1996).
Logic and methodology
Samuel ha-Nagid, Mevo ha-Talmud
Joseph ben Judah ibn Aknin, Mevo ha-Talmud
Zerachiah Halevi, Sefer ha-Tzava
Samson of Chinon, Sefer ha-Keritut
Jacob Hagiz, Teḥillat Ḥochmah (included in most editions of
Abraham ibn Akra, Meharere Nemarim
Joseph ibn Verga, She'erit Yosef
Isaac Campanton, Darche ha-Talmud
Solomon ibn Abi Zimra, Kelale ha-Gemara
Bezalel Ashkenazi, Kelale ha-Gemara
Yeshu’ah b. Yosef ha-Levi, Halichot Olam
Joseph Caro, Kelale ha-
Gemara (commentary on Halichot Olam)
Solomon Algazi, Yavin Shemu’ah (commentary on Halichot Olam)
Yisrael Ya'akov Algazi, Ar'a de-Rabbanan
Serillo, Samuel, Kelale Shemuel
Horowitz, Isaiah, Shene Luchot ha-Berit (section on Torah
Moses Chaim Luzzatto, Derech Tevunot, translated into English as The
Ways of Reason, Feldheim 1988, ISBN 978-0-87306-495-8
same, Sefer ha-Higgayon, translated into English as The
Book of Logic,
Feldheim 1995, ISBN 978-0-87306-707-2
de Oliveira, Solomon, Darche Noam
Malachi ha-Cohen, Yad Malachi
Aryeh Leib HaCohen Heller, Shev Shema'tata
Goitein, B., Kesef Nivhar
Ezechia Bolaffi, Ben Zekunim vol. 1
Moshe Amiel, Ha-Middot le-Ḥeqer ha-Halachah, vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3
Modern scholarly works
Hanoch Albeck, Mavo la-talmudim
Daniel Boyarin, Sephardi Speculation: A Study in Methods of Talmudic
Interpretation (Hebrew), Machon Ben Zvi: Jerusalem, 1989
Yaakov Elman, "Order, Sequence, and Selection: The Mishnah’s
Anthological Choices,” in
David Stern, ed. The Anthology in Jewish
Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) 53-80
Y. N. Epstein, Mevo-ot le-Sifrut haTalmudim
Uziel Fuchs, Talmudam shel Geonim: yaḥasam shel geone Bavel
Talmud ha-Bavli (The Geonic Talmud: the Attitude of
Geonim to the Text of the Babylonian Talmud): Jerusalem
David Weiss Halivni, Mekorot u-Mesorot (Jerusalem: Jewish Theological
Seminary, 1982 on)
Louis Jacobs, "How Much of the Babylonian
Talmud is Pseudepigraphic?"
Journal of Jewish Studies 28, No. 1 (1977), pp. 46–59
Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (New York: Jewish
Theological Seminary, 1950)
Moses Mielziner, Introduction to the Talmud: repr. 1997, hardback
ISBN 978-0-8197-0156-5, paperback ISBN 978-0-8197-0015-5
Jacob Neusner, Sources and Traditions: Types of Compositions in the
Babylonia (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992).
Aviram Ravitzky, Aristotelian Logic and Talmudic Methodology (Hebrew):
Jerusalem 2009, ISBN 978-965-493-459-6
Andrew Schumann, Talmudic Logic: (London: College Publications 2012),
Strack, Herman L. and Stemberger, Gunter, Introduction to the Talmud
and Midrash, tr. Markus Bockmuehl: repr. 1992, hardback
ISBN 978-0-567-09509-1, paperback ISBN 978-0-8006-2524-5
On individual tractates
Moshe Benovitz, Berakhot chapter 1: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud
(Hebrew, with English summary)
Stephen Wald, Shabbat chapter 7: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-
with English summary)
Aviad Stollman, Eruvin chapter 10: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud
(Hebrew, with English summary)
Aaron Amit, Pesachim chapter 4: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-
with English summary)
Netanel Baadani, Sanhedrin chapter 5: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud
(Hebrew, with English summary)
Sukkah chapters 4-5: Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud
(Hebrew, with English summary)
Shalom Carmy (ed.) Modern Scholarship in the Study of Torah:
Contributions and Limitations Jason Aronson, Inc.
Richard Kalmin Sages, Stories, Authors and Editors in Rabbinic
Babylonia Brown Judaic Studies
David C. Kraemer, On the Reliability of Attributions in the Babylonian
Talmud, Hebrew Union College Annual 60 (1989), pp. 175–90
Lee Levine, Ma'amad ha-Hakhamim be-Eretz Yisrael (Jerusalem: Yad
Yizhak Ben-Zvi, 1985), (=The Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late
Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (New York: Jewish
Theological Seminary, 1950)
John W. McGinley, 'The Written' as the Vocation of Conceiving
Jewishly. ISBN 0-595-40488-X
David Bigman, Finding A Home for Critical
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Talmud
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Babylonian Talmud.
Jewish Encyclopedia: Talmud
Jewish History: Talmud, aish.com
Jewish Law Research Guide,
University of Miami
University of Miami Law Library
A survey of rabbinic literature, Ohr Somayach
The Talmud For The Novice,
Rabbi M. Taub
Refutation of allegations concerning the Talmud
Talmud: The Real Truth About The Talmud, by Gil Student, also
The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics, Anti-Defamation League
Falsifiers of the Talmud
Full text resources
Talmud and English translation, from the Steinsaltz edition
Talmud Bavli (Soncino translation) (English). The Soncino Press
translation of the
Talmud Bavli in downloadable PDF format. Everything
is present except for the index volume and the minor-tractates
volumes.About 63% of the translation is also available in the form of
ordinary HTML webpages for those who prefer them.
Talmud Yerushalmi (Hebrew)
Talmud Bavli (Hebrew)
Talmud on Snunit (Hebrew)
Rodkinson English translation See above, under #
E-Daf Images of each page of the Babylonian Talmud
Tractate Megillah: .pdf download showing Yemenite vocalization
Shas.org Daf Viewer (Hebrew)
Manuscripts and textual variants
Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts, Jewish National and University
Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts, search by tractate - search engine
for readings in different manuscripts (shows facsimile of individual
Talmud (Cod.hebr. 95)
Saul Lieberman Institute - another search engine (shows results in
Hebrew/Aramaic text, not as facsimile)
Yad Harav Herzog: manuscript request form - a third search engine
Manuscripts and search engine hosted by the Friedberg Jewish
"A Page from the Babylonian Talmud" image map from Prof. Eliezer Segal
"Daf Yomi" program
A general resource for Daf Yomi
Point by point summary and discussion by daf
Calendar for this
Daf Yomi cycle
Daf-A-Week: A project to study a daf per week
Daf Yomi in MP3 - by
Rabbi Ephraim Schreibman
Shiurim on the Talmud, mp3shiur.com
Talmud Shiurim by Rav Nissan Kaplan of Mir Yeshiva, Jerusalem
Sukkah by page, showing Yemenite vocalization and recordings
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
Jews and Judaism
Outline of Judaism
Index of Jewish history-related articles
Origins of Judaism
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Lists of Jews
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Jewish Virtual Library
Relations with other Abrahamic religions
Jews and Judaism
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