Talmud
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions ...
and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
'') and
Jewish theology Jewish philosophy () includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or in relation to the religion of Judaism. Until modern ''Haskalah'' (Jewish Enlightenment) and Jewish emancipation, Jewish philosophy was preoccupied with attempts to reconcile ...
. Until the advent of
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissancein the " Age of ...
, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving also as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews. The term ''Talmud'' normally refers to the collection of writings named specifically the Babylonian Talmud (), although there is also an earlier collection known as the
Jerusalem Talmud The Jerusalem Talmud ( he, תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשַׁלְמִי, translit=Talmud Yerushalmi, often for short), also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud of the Land of Israel, is a collection of rabbinic notes on the second-century ...
(). It may also traditionally be called (), a
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
abbreviation of , or the "six orders" of the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
. The Talmud has two components: the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
(, 200 CE), a written
compendium A compendium (plural: compendia or compendiums) is a comprehensive collection of information and analysis pertaining to a body of knowledge. A compendium may concisely summarize a larger work. In most cases, the body of knowledge will concern a sp ...
of the
Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law ( he, , Tōrā šebbəʿal-pe}) are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah ( he, , Tōrā šebbī ...
; and the
Gemara The Gemara (also transliteration, transliterated Gemarah, or in Yiddish Gemo(r)re; from Aramaic , from the Semitic root wiktionary:גמר, ג-מ-ר ''gamar'', to finish or complete) is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis ...
(, 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related
Tannaitic ''Tannaim'' (Mishnaic Hebrew, Amoraic Hebrew: תנאים , singular , ''Tanna'' "repeaters", "teachers") were the rabbinic Sage (philosophy), sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10–220 CE. The period of the ''Tan ...
writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara together. The entire Talmud consists of 63
tractate A tractate is a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject; the word derives from the Latin ''tractatus'', meaning treatise. One example of its use is in citing a section of the Talmud, when the term ''masekhet'' () is used i ...
s, and in the standard print, called the Vilna Shas, there are 2,711 double-sided folios. It is written in
Mishnaic Hebrew Mishnaic Hebrew is the Hebrew of Talmud, Talmudic texts. Mishnaic Hebrew can be sub-divided into Mishnaic Hebrew proper (also called Tannaim, Tannaitic Hebrew, Early Rabbinic Hebrew, or Mishnah, Mishnaic Hebrew I), which was a spoken language, an ...
and
Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Jewish Babylonian Aramaic was the form of Aramaic language#Middle Aramaic, Middle Aramaic employed by writers in Lower Mesopotamia between the fourth and eleventh centuries. It is most commonly identified with the language of the Babylonian Talm ...
and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
s (dating from before the
Common Era Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modificatio ...
through to the fifth century) on a variety of subjects, including
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
,
Jewish ethics Jewish ethics is the ethics of the Ethics in religion, Jewish religion or the Jews, Jewish people. A type of normative ethics, Jewish ethics may involve issues in Halakha, Jewish law as well as non-legal issues, and may involve the convergence of ...
, philosophy,
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associa ...
,
history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as we ...
, and
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
, and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law and is widely quoted in
rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Judaism, Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabb ...
.


Etymology

Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from the
Semitic root The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radicals" (hence the term consonantal root). Such abstract consonantal roots are used in the formation of ...
', meaning "teach, study".


History

Originally, Jewish scholarship was
oral The word oral may refer to: Relating to the mouth * Relating to the mouth, the first portion of the alimentary canal that primarily receives food and liquid **Oral administration of medicines ** Oral examination (also known as an oral exam or oral ...
and transferred from one generation to the next. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah (the written Torah expressed in the Hebrew Bible) and discussed the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
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 total Roman control over
Judaea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
, 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 oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud (Codex Hebraicus 95), dates from 1342 and is available online.


Babylonian and Jerusalem

The process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were then the two major centers of Jewish scholarship:
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
and
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
. Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, and two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Jerusalem Talmud or the . It was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian 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 Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently;
Louis Jacobs Louis Jacobs (17 July 1920 – 1 July 2006) was a leading writer and theologian. He was the rabbi of the New London Synagogue in the United Kingdom. He was also the focus in the early 1960s of what became known as "The Jacobs Affair" in the ...
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 To make an argument from silence (Latin language, Latin: ''argumentum ex silentio'') is to express a conclusion that is based on the absence of statements in historical documents, rather than their presence.John Lange, ''The Argument from Silence' ...
is very convincing."


Jerusalem Talmud

The Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Palestinian Talmud, or (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 The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. A major Jewish center during Late antiquity, Late Antiquity, it has been considered since the 16th century one ...
,
Sepphoris Sepphoris (; grc, Σέπφωρις, Séphōris), called Tzipori in Hebrew ( he, צִפּוֹרִי, Tzipori),Palmer (1881), p115/ref> and known in Arabic as Saffuriya ( ar, صفورية, Ṣaffūriya) since the 7th century, is an archaeolog ...
, and
Caesarea Caesarea () ( he, קֵיסָרְיָה, ), ''Keysariya'' or ''Qesarya'', often simplified to Keisarya, and Qaysaria, is an affluent town in north-central Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), of ...
. It is written largely in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This 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 the analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel. Traditionally, this 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 Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
had become the
state religion A state religion (also called religious state or official religion) is a religion or creed officially endorsed by a sovereign state. A state with an official religion (also known as confessional state), while not secular state, secular, is not n ...
of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor from AD 306 to 337, and the first of which to Constantine the Great and Christianity, convert to Christiani ...
, 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 Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος, Theodosios; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450) was Roman emperor for most of his life, proclaimed ''Augustus (title), augustus'' as an infant in 402 and ruling as the eastern Empire's sole emperor after ...
in 425 to suppress the
Patriarchate Patriarchate ( grc, πατριαρχεῖον, ''patriarcheîon'') is an Ecclesiology, ecclesiological term in Christianity, designating the office and Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, jurisdiction of an ecclesiastical patriarch. According to Christ ...
and put an end to the practice of
semikhah Semikhah ( he, סמיכה) is the traditional Jewish name for rabbinic ordination. The original ''semikhah'' was the formal "transmission of authority" from Moses through the generations. This form of ''semikhah'' ceased between 360 and 4 ...
, formal scholarly ordination. Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. 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 primary source for the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the
Kairouan Kairouan (, ), also spelled El Qayrawān or Kairwan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان, al-Qayrawān , aeb, script=Latn, Qeirwān ), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by th ...
school of Chananel ben Chushiel and Nissim ben Jacob, with the result that opinions ultimately based on the Jerusalem Talmud found their way into both the
Tosafot The Tosafot, Tosafos or Tosfot ( he, תוספות) are medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of ...
and the
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
of
Maimonides Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who became one of the mos ...
. Ethical maxims contained in the Jerusalem Talmud are scattered and interspersed in the legal discussions throughout the several treatises, many of which differing from those in the Babylonian Talmud. Following the formation of the modern
state of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
there is some interest in restoring ''Eretz Yisrael'' traditions. For example, rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the ''Makhon Shilo'' institute has issued a
siddur A siddur ( he, סִדּוּר ; plural siddurim ) is a Judaism, Jewish prayer book containing a set order of List of Jewish prayers and blessings, daily prayers. The word comes from the Hebrew root , meaning 'order.' Other terms for prayer bo ...
reflecting ''Eretz Yisrael'' practice as found in the Jerusalem Talmud and other sources.


Babylonian Talmud

The Babylonian Talmud (''Talmud Bavli'') consists of documents compiled over the period of late antiquity (3rd to 6th centuries). During this time, the most important of the Jewish centres in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
, a region called "
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
" in Jewish sources and later known as
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, were
Nehardea Nehardea or Nehardeah ( arc, נהרדעא, ''nəhardəʿā'' "river of knowledge") was a city from the area called by ancient Jewish sources Talmudic Academies in Babylonia#Geographic area, Babylonia, situated at or near the junction of the Euphr ...
, Nisibis (modern
Nusaybin Nusaybin (; '; ar, نُصَيْبِيْن, translit=Nuṣaybīn; syr, ܢܨܝܒܝܢ, translit=Nṣībīn), historically known as Nisibis () or Nesbin, is a city in Mardin Province, Turkey. The population of the city is 83,832 as of 2009 and is ...
), Mahoza (
al-Mada'in Al-Mada'in ( ar, المدائن, , ; ) was an ancient metropolis situated on the Tigris, Tigris River in modern-day Iraq. It was located between the ancient royal centers of Ctesiphon and Seleucia, and was founded by the Sasanian Empire, Sassanid ...
, just to the south of what is now
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
),
Pumbedita Pumbedita (sometimes Pumbeditha, Pumpedita, or Pumbedisa; arc, פוּמְבְּדִיתָא ''Pūmbəḏīṯāʾ'', "The Mouth of the River,") was an ancient city located near the modern-day city of Fallujah, Iraq. It is known for having hosted ...
(near present-day
al Anbar Governorate Al Anbar Governorate ( ar, محافظة الأنبار; ''muḥāfaẓat al-’Anbār''), or Anbar Province, is the largest Governorates of Iraq, governorate in Iraq by area. Encompassing much of the country's western territory, it shares border ...
), and the
Sura Academy Sura Academy (Hebrew: ישיבת סורא) was a Jewish yeshiva located in Sura (city), Sura, Babylonia. With Pumbedita Academy, it was one of the two major Jewish academies from the year 225 CE at the beginning of the era of the Amoraim, Amora s ...
, probably located about south of Baghdad. The Babylonian Talmud comprises the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
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 Abba Arikha (175–247 CE; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic: ; born: ''Rav Abba bar Aybo'', ), commonly known as Rav (), was a Jewish amoraim, amora of the 3rd century. He was born and lived in Kafri, Asoristan, in the Sasanian Empire. Abba Arikha es ...
(175–247), a disciple of
Judah ha-Nasi Judah ha-Nasi ( he, יְהוּדָה הַנָּשִׂיא‎, ''Yəhūḏā hanNāsīʾ‎''; Yehudah HaNasi or Judah the Prince) or Judah I, was a second-century rabbi (a tannaim, tanna of the fifth generation) and chief redactor and editing, ed ...
. Tradition ascribes the compilation of the Babylonian Talmud in its present form to two Babylonian sages,
Rav Ashi Rav Ashi ( he, רב אשי) ("Rabbi Ashi") (352–427) was a Jews of Babylonia, Babylonian Jewish rabbi, of the sixth generation of amoraim. He reestablished the Academy at Sura (city), Sura and was the first editor of the Babylonian Talmud. ...
and
Ravina II Ravina II or Rabina II ( Hebrew: רב אבינא בר רב הונא or רבינא האחרון; died 475 CE or 500 CE) was a Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area ba ...
. Rav Ashi was president of the Sura Academy from 375 to 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 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 edited the Talmud after the end of the Amoraic period, known as the ''
Savoraim A ''Savora'' (; Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated i ...
'' or ''Rabbanan Savora'e'' (meaning "reasoners" or "considerers").


Comparison of style and subject matter

There are significant differences between the two Talmud compilations. 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 details. The 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 Talmud Bavli.
Encyclopaedia Judaica The ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'' is a 22-volume English-language encyclopedia of the Jewish people, Judaism, and Israel. It covers diverse areas of the Jewish world and civilization, including Jewish history of all eras, culture, Jewish holiday, ...
Neither 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: * The Jerusalem Talmud covers all the tractates of
Zeraim Seder Zeraim ( he, סדר זרעים, Seder Zra'im, lit. "Order of Seeds") is the first of the six orders, or major divisions, of the Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , o ...
, while the Babylonian Talmud covers only tractate Berachot. The reason might be that most laws from the Order Zeraim (agricultural laws limited to the Land of Israel) had little practical relevance in Babylonia and were therefore not included. The Jerusalem Talmud has a greater focus on the Land of Israel and the Torah's agricultural laws pertaining to the land because it was written in the Land of Israel where the laws applied. * The Jerusalem Talmud does not cover the Mishnaic order of
Kodashim 150px, Pidyon haben Kodashim ( he, קדשים, "Holy Things") is the fifth of the six orders, or major divisions, of the Mishnah, Tosefta and the Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the prim ...
, which deals with sacrificial rites and laws pertaining to the
Temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hindui ...
, 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 destruction in year 70. Early Rabbinic literature indicates that there once was a Jerusalem Talmud commentary on Kodashim but it has been lost to history (though in the early Twentieth Century an infamous forgery of the lost tractates was at first widely accepted before being quickly exposed). * In both Talmuds, only one tractate of Tohorot (ritual purity laws) is examined, that of the menstrual laws,
Niddah Niddah (or nidah; he, נִדָּה), in traditional Judaism, describes a woman who has experienced a uterine discharge of blood (most commonly during menstruation), or a woman who has menstruated and not yet completed the associated requirem ...
. The Babylonian 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 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 ''Amoraim'' (Aramaic language, Aramaic: plural or , singular ''Amora'' or ''Amoray''; "those who say" or "those who speak over the people", or "spokesmen") refers to Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 Common Era, CE, who "sai ...
'' might be closer to their original form in the Jerusalem Talmud. 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 Gaonic era. Furthermore, the editing of the Babylonian Talmud was superior to that of the 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 the 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.


Structure

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 A ( he, מַסֶּכֶת, Sephardic pronunciation, Sephardic: , Ashkenazic pronunciation, Ashkenazic: ; plural ) is an organizational element of Talmudic literature that systematically examines a subject, referred to as a tractate in English. ...
'') 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 The Hebrew alphabet ( he, wikt:אלפבית, אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי, ), known variously by scholars as the Ktav Ashuri, Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew languag ...
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''.


Mishnah

The
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
is a compilation of legal opinions and debates. Statements in the 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 ''Tannaim'' (Mishnaic Hebrew, Amoraic Hebrew: תנאים , singular , ''Tanna'' "repeaters", "teachers") were the rabbinic Sage (philosophy), sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10–220 CE. The period of the ''Tan ...
(literally, "repeaters," or "teachers"). These tannaim—rabbis of the second century CE--"who produced the Mishnah and other tannaic works, must be distinguished from the rabbis of the third to fifth centuries, known as amoraim (literally, "speakers"), who produced the two Talmudim and other amoraic works". Since it sequences its laws by subject matter instead of by biblical context, the Mishnah discusses individual subjects more thoroughly than the
Midrash ''Midrash'' (;"midrash"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
he, מִדְרָשׁ; ...
, 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 in the Mishnah has a corresponding Gemara. Also, the order of the tractates in the Talmud differs in some cases from that in the ''Mishnah''.


Baraita

In addition to the Mishnah, other tannaitic teachings were current at about the same time or shortly after that. The Gemara frequently 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 ''Amoraim'' (Aramaic language, Aramaic: plural or , singular ''Amora'' or ''Amoray''; "those who say" or "those who speak over the people", or "spokesmen") refers to Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 Common Era, CE, who "sai ...
. The ''baraitot'' cited in the Gemara are often quotations from the
Tosefta The Tosefta ( Jewish Babylonian Aramaic: תוספתא "supplement, addition") is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the late 2nd century, the period of the Mishnah. Overview In many ways, the Tosefta acts as a supplement to the Mishnah ...
(a tannaitic compendium of halakha parallel to the Mishnah) and the
Midrash halakha ''Midrash halakha'' ( he, הֲלָכָה) was the ancient Judaic rabbinic method of Torah study Torah study is the study of the Torah, Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, responsa, rabbinic literature, and similar works, all of which are Judaism's ...
(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.


Gemara

In the three centuries following the
redaction Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple sources of texts are combined and altered slightly to make a single document. Often this is a method of collecting a series of writings on a similar theme and creating a definitive and coherent wo ...
of the Mishnah, rabbis in Palestine and Babylonia analyzed, debated, and discussed that work. These discussions form the Gemara. The Gemara mainly focuses on elucidating and elaborating the opinions of the Tannaim. The rabbis of the Gemara are known as (sing. ' ). 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 Exegesis ( ; from the Ancient Greek, Greek , from , "to lead out") is a critical explanation or interpretation (logic), interpretation of a text. The term is traditionally applied to the interpretation of Bible, Biblical works. In modern usage, ...
in rabbinic Judaism (or – simpler – interpretation of text in
Torah study Torah study is the study of the Torah, Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, responsa, rabbinic literature, and similar works, all of which are Judaism's Sifrei kodesh, religious texts. According to Rabbinic Judaism, the study is done for the purpose of ...
) exchanges between two (frequently anonymous and sometimes metaphorical) disputants, termed the ' (questioner) and ' (answerer). Another important function of 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.


Minor tractates

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.


Language

Within the
Gemara The Gemara (also transliteration, transliterated Gemarah, or in Yiddish Gemo(r)re; from Aramaic , from the Semitic root wiktionary:גמר, ג-מ-ר ''gamar'', to finish or complete) is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis ...
, the quotations from the Mishnah and the
Baraita ''Baraita'' (Aramaic language, Aramaic: "external" or "outside"; pl. ''Barayata'' or ''Baraitot''; also Baraitha, Beraita; Ashkenazi Hebrew language, Ashkenazi: Beraisa) designates a tradition in the Jewish Oral Torah, oral law not incorporated ...
s and verses of
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Jewish Babylonian Aramaic was the form of Aramaic language#Middle Aramaic, Middle Aramaic employed by writers in Lower Mesopotamia between the fourth and eleventh centuries. It is most commonly identified with the language of the Babylonian Talm ...
. There are occasional quotations from older works in other dialects of Aramaic, such as
Megillat Taanit ''Megillat Taanit'' (Hebrew: ), lit. ''"the Scroll of Fasting,"'' is an ancient text, in the form of a chronicle, which enumerates 35 eventful days on which the Jewish nation either performed glorious deeds or witnessed joyful events. These days ...
. 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
Tannaim ''Tannaim'' (Mishnaic Hebrew, Amoraic Hebrew: תנאים , singular , ''Tanna'' "repeaters", "teachers") were the rabbinic Sage (philosophy), sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10–220 CE. The period of the ''Tan ...
(rabbis cited in the Mishnah), a late form of Hebrew known as Rabbinic or Mishnaic Hebrew was still in use as a spoken
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language is in contrast with a "standard language". It refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, n ...
among Jews in
Judaea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
(alongside Greek and Aramaic), whereas during the period of the
Amoraim ''Amoraim'' (Aramaic language, Aramaic: plural or , singular ''Amora'' or ''Amoray''; "those who say" or "those who speak over the people", or "spokesmen") refers to Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 Common Era, CE, who "sai ...
(rabbis cited in the Gemara), which began around the year 200, the spoken vernacular was almost exclusively Aramaic. Hebrew continued to be used for the writing of religious texts, poetry, and so forth. Even within the Aramaic of the Gemara, different dialects or writing styles can be observed in different tractates. One dialect is common to most of the Babylonian Talmud, while a second dialect is used in Nedarim, Nazir, Temurah, Keritot, and Me'ilah; the second dialect is closer in style to the
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the ''Tanakh'') that a professional translator ( ''mǝturgǝmān'') would give in the common language of the ...
.


Scholarship

From the time of its completion, the Talmud became integral to Jewish scholarship. A maxim in
Pirkei Avot Pirkei Avot ( he, פִּרְקֵי אָבוֹת; also transliterated as ''Pirqei Avoth'' or ''Pirkei Avos'' or ''Pirke Aboth''), which translates to English as Chapters of the Fathers, is a compilation of the ethics, ethical teachings and Maxim ...
advocates its study from the age of 15. This section outlines some of the major areas of Talmudic study.


Geonim

The earliest Talmud commentaries were written by the
Geonim ''Geonim'' ( he, גאונים; ; also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated Gaonim, singular Gaon) were the presidents of the two great Talmudic Academies in Babylonia, Babylonian Talmudic Academies of Sura Academy , Sura and Pumbedita Academy ...
( 800–1000) in
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
. Although some direct commentaries on particular treatises are extant, our main knowledge of the Gaonic era Talmud scholarship comes from statements embedded in Geonic responsa that shed light on Talmudic passages: these are arranged in the order of the Talmud in Levin's ''Otzar ha-Geonim''. Also important are practical abridgments of Jewish law such as
Yehudai Gaon Yehudai ben Nahman (or Yehudai Gaon; Hebrew: יהודאי גאון, sometimes: Yehudai b. Nahman) was the head of the yeshiva in Sura (city), Sura from 757 to 761, during the Geonim, Gaonic period of Judaism. He was originally a member of the acad ...
's ''Halachot Pesukot'', Achai Gaon's ''Sheeltot'' and
Simeon Kayyara Simeon Kayyara, also spelled ''Shimon Kiara'' (Hebrew: שמעון קיירא), was a Jewish-Babylonian halakhist of the first half of the 8th century. Although he lived during the Geonic period, he was never officially appointed as a Gaon, and the ...
's ''Halachot Gedolot''. After the death of
Hai Gaon Hai ben Sherira (Hebrew: האי/י בר שרירא) better known as Hai Gaon (Hebrew: האי/י גאון, חאיי גאון), was a medieval Jewish theologian, rabbi and scholar who served as Gaon (Hebrew), Gaon of the Talmudic Academies in Babylo ...
, 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 ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
. Early commentators such as rabbi
Isaac Alfasi Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen (1013–1103) ( ar, إسحاق الفاسي, he, ר' יצחק אלפסי) - also known as the Alfasi or by his Hebrew acronym Rif (Rabbi Isaac al-Fasi), was a Maghrebi Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) ...
(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 ( 1250–1298). A third such work was that of rabbi 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 ''Ein Yaakov'' () is a 16th-century compilation of all the Aggadah, Aggadic material in the Talmud together with commentaries.
''. ''Ein Yaakov'' (or ''En Ya'aqob'') extracts nearly all the
Aggadic Aggadah ( he, ''ʾAggāḏā'' or ''Haggāḏā''; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Jewish Babylonian Aramaic was the form of Aramaic language#Middle Aramaic, Middle Aramaic employed by writers in Lower Mesopotamia between the fourth and eleventh ...
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.


Commentaries

The commentaries on the Talmud constitute only a small part of
Rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Judaism, Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabb ...
in comparison with the
responsa ''Responsa'' (plural of Latin , 'answer') comprise a body of written decisions and rulings given by legal scholars in response to questions addressed to them. In the modern era, the term is used to describe decisions and rulings made by scholars i ...
literature and the commentaries on the
codices The codex (plural codices ) was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term ''codex'' is often used for ancient manuscript books, with ...
. When the Talmud was concluded the traditional literature was still so fresh in the memory of scholars that no need existed for writing Talmudic commentaries, nor were such works undertaken in the first period of the gaonate. Paltoi ben Abaye (''c.'' 840) was the first who in his responsum offered verbal and textual comments on the Talmud. His son, Zemah ben Paltoi paraphrased and explained the passages which he quoted; and he composed, as an aid to the study of the Talmud, a lexicon which
Abraham Zacuto Abraham Zacuto ( he, , translit=Avraham ben Shmuel Zacut, pt, Abraão ben Samuel Zacuto; 12 August 1452 – ) was a Castilian astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Royal Astronomer to King John II of Portugal. ...
consulted in the fifteenth century.
Saadia Gaon Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon ( ar, سعيد بن يوسف الفيومي ''Saʻīd bin Yūsuf al-Fayyūmi''; he, סַעֲדְיָה בֶּן יוֹסֵף אַלְפַיּוּמִי גָּאוֹן ''Saʿăḏyāh ben Yōsēf al-Fayyūmī Gāʾōn''; ...
is said to have composed commentaries on the Talmud, aside from his Arabic commentaries on the Mishnah. There are many passages in the Talmud which are 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'' (Book of 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 (''ḥiddushim'') by Joseph ibn Migash on two tractates, Bava Batra and Shevuot, based on Ḥananel and Alfasi, also survive, as does a compilation by Zechariah Aghmati called ''Sefer ha-Ner''. Using a different style, 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
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
(Rabbi 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. Although Rashi drew upon all his predecessors, his originality in using the material offered by them was unparalleled. His commentaries, in turn, became the basis of the work of his pupils and successors, who composed a large number of supplementary works that were partly in emendation and partly in explanation of Rashi's, and are known under the title "
Tosafot The Tosafot, Tosafos or Tosfot ( he, תוספות) are medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of ...
." ("additions" or "supplements"). The ''Tosafot'' are collected commentaries by various medieval Ashkenazic rabbis on the Talmud (known as '' 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. In Yeshiva, the integration of Talmud, Rashi and Tosafot, is considered as the foundation (and prerequisite) for further analysis; this combination is sometimes referred to by the acronym ''"gefet"'' ( גפ״ת - ''
Gemara The Gemara (also transliteration, transliterated Gemarah, or in Yiddish Gemo(r)re; from Aramaic , from the Semitic root wiktionary:גמר, ג-מ-ר ''gamar'', to finish or complete) is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis ...
'', ''perush Rashi'', ''Tosafot''). Among the founders of the Tosafist school were Rabbi Jacob ben Meir (known as
Rabbeinu Tam Jacob ben Meir (1100 – 9 June 1171 (4 Tammuz)), best known as Rabbeinu Tam ( he, רבינו תם), was one of the most renowned Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazi Jewish rabbis and leading French Tosafists, a leading ''Halakha, halakhic'' authority in ...
), who was a grandson of Rashi, and, Rabbenu Tam's nephew, rabbi Isaac ben Samuel. The Tosafot commentaries were collected in different editions in the various schools. The benchmark collection of 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 commentaries of
Nachmanides Moses ben Nachman ( he, מֹשֶׁה בֶּן־נָחְמָן ''Mōše ben-Nāḥmān'', "Moses son of Nachman"; 1194–1270), commonly known as Nachmanides (; el, Ναχμανίδης ''Nakhmanídēs''), and also referred to by the acronym Ra ...
(Ramban), Solomon ben Adret (Rashba), Yom Tov of Seville (Ritva) and Nissim of Gerona (Ran); these are often titled “ ''Chiddushei'' ...” (“ Novellae of ...”). A comprehensive anthology consisting of extracts from all these is the ''Shittah Mekubbetzet'' of
Bezalel Ashkenazi Bezalel ben Abraham Ashkenazi ( he, בצלאל בן אברהם אשכנזי) ( 1520 – 1592) was a rabbi and talmudist who lived in History of Israel#Ottoman period (1516–1917), Ottoman Israel during the 16th century. He is best known as the a ...
. Other commentaries produced in Spain and Provence were not influenced by the Tosafist style. Two of the most significant of these are the Yad Ramah by rabbi Meir Abulafia and ''Bet Habechirah'' by rabbi Menahem haMeiri, commonly referred to as "Meiri". While the ''Bet Habechirah'' is extant for all of Talmud, we only have the ''Yad Ramah'' for Tractates Sanhedrin, Baba Batra and Gittin. Like the commentaries of Ramban and the others, these are generally printed as independent works, though some Talmud editions include the ''Shittah Mekubbetzet'' in an abbreviated form. In later centuries, focus partially shifted from direct Talmudic interpretation to the analysis of previously written Talmudic commentaries. These later commentaries are generally printed at the back of each tractate. Well known are "Maharshal" ( Solomon Luria), "Maharam" ( Meir Lublin) and " Maharsha" (Samuel Edels), which analyze Rashi and Tosafot together; other such commentaries include ''Ma'adanei Yom Tov'' by Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller, in turn a commentary on the Rosh (see below), and the glosses by Zvi Hirsch Chajes. 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 (''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
'', '' Tur'', ''
Shulchan Aruch The ''Shulchan Aruch'' ( he, שֻׁלְחָן עָרוּך , literally: "Set Table"), sometimes dubbed in English as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most widely consulted of the various Codification (law), legal codes in Judaism. It was authored i ...
'', and '' Se'mag'') and to related Talmudic passages. Most editions of the Talmud include brief marginal notes by Akiva Eger under the name ''Gilyon ha-Shas'', and textual notes by Joel Sirkes and the
Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, ( he , ר' אליהו בן שלמה זלמן ''Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman'') known as the Vilna Gaon (Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic languages, W ...
(see Textual emendations below), on the page together with the text. Commentaries discussing the Halachik-legal content include "Rosh", "Rif" and "Mordechai"; these are now standard appendices to each volume.
Rambam Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who became one of the mos ...
's ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
'' is invariably studied alongside these three; although a code, and therefore not in the same order as the Talmud, the relevant location is identified via the ''"Ein Mishpat"'', as mentioned. A recent project, ''Halacha Brura'', founded by
Abraham Isaac Kook Abraham Isaac Kook (; 7 September 1865 – 1 September 1935), known as Rav Kook, and also known by the acronym HaRaAYaH (), was an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox rabbi, and the first Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Chief Rabbi of ...
, presents the Talmud and a summary of the halachic codes side by side, so as to enable the "collation" of Talmud with resultant Halacha.


Pilpul

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 ''Pilpul'' ( he, wikt:פלפול, פלפול, loosely meaning 'sharp analysis'; ) is a method of studying the Talmud through intense textual analysis in attempts to either explain conceptual differences between various halakha, halakhic rulings o ...
'' 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 Ashkenazi Jews ( ; he, יְהוּדֵי אַשְׁכְּנַז, translit=Yehudei Ashkenaz, ; yi, אַשכּנזישע ייִדן, Ashkenazishe Yidn), also known as Ashkenazic Jews or ''Ashkenazim'',, Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation: , singu ...
world the founders of ''pilpul'' are generally considered to be 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 are
Judah Loew ben Bezalel Judah Loew ben Bezalel (; between 1512 and 1526 – 17 September 1609), also known as Rabbi Loew ( Löw, Loewe, Löwe or Levai), the Maharal of Prague (), or simply the Maharal (the Hebrew language, Hebrew Hebrew abbreviations, acronym of "''Morei ...
(the ''Maharal'' of Prague),
Isaiah Horowitz Isaiah or Yeshayahu ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz ( he, ישעיה בן אברהם הלוי הורוויץ), (c. 1555 – March 24, 1630), also known as the ''Shelah HaKaddosh'' ( "the holy ''Shelah''") after the title of his best-known work, was ...
, 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 Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, ( he , ר' אליהו בן שלמה זלמן ''Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman'') known as the Vilna Gaon (Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic languages, W ...
, 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.


Sephardic approaches

Among
Sephardi Sephardic (or Sephardi) Jews (, ; lad, Djudíos Sefardíes), also ''Sepharadim'' , Modern Hebrew: ''Sfaradim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), ...
and
Italian Jews Italian Jews ( it, Ebrei Italiani, he, יהודים איטלקים ''Yehudim Italkim'') or Roman Jews ( it, Ebrei Romani, he, יהודים רומים ''Yehudim Romim'') can be used in a broad sense to mean all Jews living in or with roots in I ...
from the 15th century on, some authorities sought to apply the methods of
Aristotelian logic In philosophy, term logic, also known as traditional logic, Syllogism, syllogistic logic or Aristotelianism, Aristotelian logic, is a loose name for an approach to formal logic that began with Aristotle and was developed further in ancient history ...
, as reformulated by
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
. 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 Sephardic 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 passage. * The intermediate level, ''iyyun'' (concentration), consists of study with the help of commentaries such as
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
and the
Tosafot The Tosafot, Tosafos or Tosfot ( he, תוספות) are medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of ...
, similar to that practiced among the
Ashkenazim Ashkenazi Jews ( ; he, יְהוּדֵי אַשְׁכְּנַז, translit=Yehudei Ashkenaz, ; yi, אַשכּנזישע ייִדן, Ashkenazishe Yidn), also known as Ashkenazic Jews or ''Ashkenazim'',, Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation: , singu ...
. Historically Sephardim studied the ''Tosefot ha-Rosh'' and the commentaries of Nahmanides in 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 ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , ...
by rabbis Abraham Hakohen (d. 1715) and Tsemaḥ Tsarfati (d. 1717) and perpetuated by rabbi 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 The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
and the
Shulchan Aruch The ''Shulchan Aruch'' ( he, שֻׁלְחָן עָרוּך , literally: "Set Table"), sometimes dubbed in English as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most widely consulted of the various Codification (law), legal codes in Judaism. It was authored i ...
, so as to study the Talmud as a source of law; the equivalent Ashkenazi approach is sometimes referred to as being " aliba dehilchasa". 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 Bnei Brak or Bene Beraq ( he, בְּנֵי בְּרַק ) is a city located on the central Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean Israeli coastal plain, coastal plain in Israel, just east of Tel Aviv. A center of Haredi Judaism, Bnei Brak covers an are ...
.


Brisker method

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 The Brisker method, or Brisker ''derech'', is a reductionistic approach to Talmud study innovated by Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk (Brest, Belarus), as opposed to the traditional approach which was rather holistic. It has since become popular ...
involves a reductionistic analysis of rabbinic arguments within the Talmud or among the
Rishonim ''Rishonim'' (; he, ; sing. he, , ''Rishon'', "the first ones") were the leading rabbis and ''posek, poskim'' who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the ''Shulchan Aruch'' ( he, , "Set Tab ...
, 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 ''Pilpul'' ( he, wikt:פלפול, פלפול, loosely meaning 'sharp analysis'; ) is a method of studying the Talmud through intense textual analysis in attempts to either explain conceptual differences between various halakha, halakhic rulings o ...
. 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 Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who became one of the mos ...
' ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
'' as a guide to Talmudic interpretation, as distinct from its use as a source of practical ''halakha''. Rival methods were those of the
Mir ''Mir'' (russian: Мир, ; ) was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia. ''Mir'' was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit from 1986 to&n ...
and Telz yeshivas. See and .


Critical method

As a result of
Jewish emancipation Jewish emancipation was the process in various nations in Europe of eliminating Disabilities (Jewish), Jewish disabilities, e.g. Jewish quotas, to which European Jews were then subject, and the recognition of Jews as entitled to equality and citi ...
, Judaism underwent enormous upheaval and transformation during the 19th century. Modern methods of textual and historical analysis were applied to the Talmud.


Textual emendations

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 Talmud. This Gaonic responsum states: 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 ubsequentlyput it into the Gemara." The emendations of
Yoel Sirkis Joel ben Samuel Sirkis (Hebrew language, Hebrew: רבי יואל בן שמואל סירקיש; born 1561 - March 14, 1640) also known as the Bach (an abbreviation of his Masterpiece, magnum opus BAyit CHadash), was a prominent Ashkenazi Jews, Ashk ...
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 emendations by 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 Solomon Schechter ( he, שניאור זלמן הכהן שכטר‎; 7 December 1847 – 19 November 1915) was a Moldavian-born British-American rabbi, academic scholar and educator, most famous for his roles as founder and President of the ...
, who had
Cairo Genizah The Cairo Geniza, alternatively spelled Genizah, is a collection of some 400,000 Judaism, Jewish manuscript fragments and Fatimid administrative documents that were kept in the ''genizah'' or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat or Old C ...
texts with which to compare our standard editions. 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 Critical editions, above). Today many more manuscripts have become available, in particular from the
Cairo Geniza The Cairo Geniza, alternatively spelled Genizah, is a collection of some 400,000 Judaism, Jewish manuscript fragments and Fatimid administrative documents that were kept in the ''genizah'' or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat or Old C ...
. The
Academy of the Hebrew Language The Academy of the Hebrew Language ( he, הָאָקָדֶמְיָה לַלָּשׁוֹן הָעִבְרִית, ''ha-akademyah la-lashon ha-ivrit'') was established by the Israeli government in 1953 as the "supreme institution for scholarship on t ...
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
National Library of Israel The National Library of Israel (NLI; he, הספרייה הלאומית, translit=HaSifria HaLeumit; ar, المكتبة الوطنية في إسرائيل), formerly Jewish National and University Library (JNUL; he, בית הספרים הלא ...
(formerly the Jewish National and University Library). The NLI, the Lieberman Institute (associated with the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a Conservative Jewish education organization in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous cit ...
), 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
Nachmanides Moses ben Nachman ( he, מֹשֶׁה בֶּן־נָחְמָן ''Mōše ben-Nāḥmān'', "Moses son of Nachman"; 1194–1270), commonly known as Nachmanides (; el, Ναχμανίδης ''Nakhmanídēs''), and also referred to by the acronym Ra ...
and 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" is a technical term denoting academic study.) 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 A ''Savora'' (; Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated i ...
''. In the 1870s and 1880s, rabbi Raphael Natan Nata Rabbinovitz engaged in the historical study of Talmud Bavli in his ''Diqduqei Soferim''. Since then many Orthodox rabbis have approved of his work, including Rabbis Shlomo Kluger, Joseph Saul Nathansohn, Jacob Ettlinger, Isaac Elhanan Spektor and
Shimon Sofer Shimon Sofer (1820–1883) (german: Simon Schreiber) was a prominent Austria-Hungary, Austrian Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the 19th century. He was Chief Rabbi of Kraków, Poland after serving as Chief Rabbi of Mattersburg, Mattersdorf. He was the s ...
. During the early 19th century, leaders of the newly evolving
Reform movement A reform movement or reformism is a type of social movement that aims to bring a social system, social or also a political system closer to the community's ideal. A reform movement is distinguished from more Radicalism (politics), radical socia ...
, such as
Abraham Geiger Abraham Geiger (Hebrew language, Hebrew: ''ʼAvrāhām Gayger''; 24 May 181023 October 1874) was a German rabbi and scholar, considered the founding father of Reform Judaism. Emphasizing Judaism's constant development along history and universal ...
and Samuel Holdheim, subjected the Talmud to severe scrutiny as part of an effort to break with traditional rabbinic Judaism. They insisted that the Talmud was 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 such as
Moses Sofer Moses Schreiber (1762–1839), known to his own community and Jewish posterity in the Hebrew translation as Moshe Sofer, also known by his main work ''Chatam Sofer'', ''Chasam Sofer'', or ''Hatam Sofer'' ( trans. ''Seal of the Scribe'', and acron ...
(the ''Chatam Sofer'') became exquisitely sensitive to any change and rejected modern critical methods of Talmud study. 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 Zecharias Frankel, also known as Zacharias Frankel (30 September 1801 – 13 February 1875) was a Bohemian-German rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi ...
. They described the
Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law ( he, , Tōrā šebbəʿal-pe}) are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah ( he, , Tōrā šebbī ...
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 Isaac (Isaak) Hirsch Weiss, also Eisik Hirsch Weiss () (9 February 1815 – 1 June 1905), was an Austrian Talmudist and historian of literature born at Groß Meseritsch, Habsburg Moravia. After having received elementary instruction in Hebr ...
. (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 Conservative Judaism, known as Masorti Judaism outside North America, is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement which regards the authority of ''halakha'' (Jewish law) and traditions as coming primarily from its people and com ...
. Another aspect of this movement is reflected in Graetz's ''History of the Jews''. Graetz attempts to deduce the personality of the
Pharisees The Pharisees (; he, פְּרוּשִׁים, Pərūšīm) were a Jews, Jewish social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temp ...
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 Samson Raphael Hirsch (; June 20, 1808 – December 31, 1888) was a German Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox rabbi best known as the intellectual founder of the ''Torah im Derech Eretz'' school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Occasionally termed ''neo ...
, 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, used this new scientific method. The Orthodox rabbinical seminary of
Azriel Hildesheimer Azriel Hildesheimer (also Esriel and Israel, yi, עזריאל הילדעסהיימער; 11 May 1820 – 12 July 1899) was a German rabbi and leader of Orthodox Judaism. He is regarded as a pioneering moderniser of Orthodox Judaism in Germany an ...
was founded on the idea of creating a "harmony between Judaism and science". Other Orthodox pioneers of scientific Talmud study were David Zvi Hoffmann and Joseph Hirsch Dünner. The Iraqi rabbi 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 the Talmud!" 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 whether the Talmud may be subjected to historical study, but rather about the theological and halakhic implications of such study.


Contemporary scholarship

Some trends within contemporary Talmud scholarship are listed below. * Orthodox Judaism maintains that the
oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law ( he, , Tōrā šebbəʿal-pe}) are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah ( he, , Tōrā šebbī ...
was revealed, in some form, together with the written Torah. As such, some adherents, most notably
Samson Raphael Hirsch Samson Raphael Hirsch (; June 20, 1808 – December 31, 1888) was a German Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox rabbi best known as the intellectual founder of the ''Torah im Derech Eretz'' school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Occasionally termed ''neo ...
and his followers, resisted any effort to apply historical methods that imputed specific motives to the authors of the Talmud. Other major figures in Orthodoxy, however, took issue with Hirsch on this matter, most prominently David Tzvi Hoffmann. * 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 Louis Jacobs (17 July 1920 – 1 July 2006) was a leading writer and theologian. He was the rabbi of the New London Synagogue in the United Kingdom. He was also the focus in the early 1960s of what became known as "The Jacobs Affair" in the ...
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. Levine and David Kraemer. * 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 Saul Lieberman (Hebrew language, Hebrew: שאול ליברמן, May 28, 1898 – March 23, 1983), also known as Rabbi Shaul Lieberman or, among some of his students, The ''Gra"sh'' (''Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul''), was a rabbi and a Talmudic scholar. He s ...
, David Weiss Halivni, and Avraham Goldberg. * 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 treated the 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. The Jerusalem Talmud is very similar to the Babylonian 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 Talmud in its Iranian context, for example by comparing it with contemporary
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religions, Iranian religion and one of the world's History of religion, oldest organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian peoples, Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster. It has a Dualism in cosmology, du ...
texts.


Translations


Talmud Bavli

There are six contemporary translations of the Talmud into English:


Steinsaltz

* The Noé Edition of the ''Koren Talmud Bavli'', Adin Steinsaltz, Koren Publishers Jerusalem was launched in 2012. It has a new, modern English translation and the commentary of rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, and was praised for its "beautiful page" with "clean type". Opened from the right cover (front for Hebrew and Aramaic books), the Steinsaltz Talmud edition has the traditional Vilna page with vowels and punctuation in the original Aramaic text. The
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
commentary appears in
Rashi script Rashi script or Sephardic script (), is a typeface for the Hebrew alphabet based on 15th-century Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Solitreo, semi-cursive handwriting. It is named for the Rabbinic literature, rabbinic commentator Rashi, whose Rashi#Works, ...
with vowels and punctuation. When opened from the left cover the edition features bilingual text with side-by-side English/Aramaic translation. The margins include color maps, illustrations and notes based on rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s
Hebrew language Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
translation and commentary of the Talmud. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb serves as the Editor-in-Chief. The entire set, which has vowels and punctuation (including for Rashi) is 42 volumes. * '' The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition'' (Random House) contains the text with punctuation and an English translation based on Rabbi Steinsaltz' complete
Hebrew language Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
translation of and commentary on the entire Talmud. Incomplete—22 volumes and a reference guide. There are 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 other languages. *In February 2017, the ''William Davidson Talmud'' was released to
Sefaria Sefaria is an online open source, free content, digital library of Jewish texts. It was founded in 2011 by former Google project manager Brett Lockspeiser and journalist-author Joshua Foer. Calling itself "a living library of Jewish texts", Sefari ...
. This translation is a version of the Steinsaltz edition which was released under
creative commons Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization and international network devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has release ...
license.


Artscroll

* The '' Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud'' (
Artscroll ArtScroll is an imprint (trade name), imprint of translations, books and commentaries from an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish perspective published by Mesorah Publications, Ltd., a publishing company based in Rahway, New Jersey, Rahway, New Jers ...
/Mesorah Publications), is 73 volumes, both with English translation and the Aramaic/Hebrew only. In the translated editions, each English page faces the Aramaic/Hebrew page it translates. Each Aramaic/Hebrew page of Talmud typically requires three to six English pages of translation and notes. The Aramaic/Hebrew pages are printed in the traditional Vilna format, with a gray bar added that shows the section translated on the facing page. The facing pages provide an expanded paraphrase in English, with translation of the text shown in bold and explanations interspersed in normal type, along with extensive footnotes. Pages are numbered in the traditional way but with a superscript added, e.g. 12b4 is the fourth page translating the Vilna page 12b. Larger tractates require multiple volumes. The first volume was published in 1990, and the series was completed in 2004.


Soncino

* ''The Soncino Talmud'' (1935-1948), 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. Complete. ** The travel edition opens from left for English, from right for the Gemara, which, unlike the other editions, does not use "Tzurat HaDaf;" instead, each normal page of Gemara text is two pages, the top and the bottom of the standard ''Daf'' (albeit reformatted somewhat).


Other English translations

* ''The Talmud of Babylonia. An American Translation'', Jacob Neusner, Tzvee Zahavy, others. Atlanta: 1984–1995: Scholars Press for Brown Judaic Studies. Complete. * ''Rodkinson'': Portions of the Babylonian Talmu
were translated
by Michael L. Rodkinson (1903). It has been linked to online, for copyright reasons (initially it was the only freely available translation on the web), bu
this
has been wholly superseded by the Soncino translation. (see below, under Full text resources). * 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., 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 Mishnah, Torah, and other classical works in Orthodox Judaism.


Translations into other languages

*The '' Extractiones de Talmud'', a
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
translation of some 1,922 passages from the Talmud, was made in Paris in 1244–1245. It survives in two recensions. There is a
critical edition Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship Textual scholarship (or textual studies) is an umbrella term for disciplines that deal with describing, transcribing, editing or annotating text (literary theory), texts and physical documents ...
of the sequential recension: * *A circa 1000 CE translation of (some parts of) the Talmud to Arabic is mentioned in Sefer ha-Qabbalah. This version was commissioned by the
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
Caliph
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah Abū ʿAlī Manṣūr (13 August 985 – 13 February 1021), better known by his regnal name A regnal name, or regnant name or reign name, is the name used by monarchs and popes during their reigns and, subsequently, historically. Since ...
and was carried out by Joseph ibn Abitur. *The Talmud was translated by
Shimon Moyal Shimon Moyal (1866–1915) was a Zionist Zionism ( he, צִיּוֹנוּת ''Tsiyyonut'' after ''Zion'') is a Nationalism, nationalist movement that espouses the establishment of, and support for a homeland for the Jewish people centered ...
into Arabic in 1909. There is one translation of the Talmud into Arabic, published in 2012 in Jordan by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The translation was carried out by a group of 90 Muslim and Christian scholars. The introduction was characterized by Raquel Ukeles, Curator of the Israel National Library's Arabic collection, as "racist", but she considers the translation itself as "not bad". *In 2018 Muslim-majority
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
co-hosted an event at the United Nations with Catholic-majority Italy and Jewish-majority Israel celebrating the translation of the Talmud into Italian for the first time. Albanian UN Ambassador Besiana Kadare opined: “Projects like the Babylonian Talmud Translation open a new lane in intercultural and interfaith dialogue, bringing hope and understanding among people, the right tools to counter prejudice, stereotypical thinking and discrimination. By doing so, we think that we strengthen our social traditions, peace, stability — and we also counter violent extremist tendencies.”


Talmud Yerushalmi

* ''Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation'' 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. Neusner's mentor
Saul Lieberman Saul Lieberman (Hebrew language, Hebrew: שאול ליברמן, May 28, 1898 – March 23, 1983), also known as Rabbi Shaul Lieberman or, among some of his students, The ''Gra"sh'' (''Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul''), was a rabbi and a Talmudic scholar. He s ...
, then the most prominent Talmudic scholar alive, read one volume shortly before his death and wrote a review, published posthumously, in which he describes dozens of major translation errors in the first chapter of that volume alone, also demonstrating that Neusner had not, as claimed, made use of manuscript evidence; he was "stunned by Neusner's ignorance of rabbinic Hebrew, of Aramaic grammar, and above all the subject matter with which he deals" and concluded that "the right place for eusner's translationis the wastebasket". This review was devastating for Neusner's career. At a meeting of the
Society of Biblical Literature The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), founded in 1880 as the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, is an American-based learned society A learned society (; also learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an ...
a few months later, during a plenary session designed to honor Neusner for his achievements,
Morton Smith Morton Smith (May 28, 1915 – July 11, 1991)Neusner, Jacob, ''Christianity, Judaism, and other Greco-Roman Cults. Part 1: New Testament'', ed. J. Neusner, ''Studies for Morton Smith at Sixty, vol 1, New Testament'' (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975), p. ...
(also Neusner's mentor) took to the lectern and announced that "I now find it my duty to warn" that the translation "cannot be safely used, and had better not be used at all". He also called Neusner's translation "a serious misfortune for Jewish studies". After delivering this speech, Smith marched up and down the aisles of the ballroom with printouts of Lieberman's review, handing one to every attendee. * ''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). * ''The Jerusalem Talmud, Edition, Translation and Commentary'', ed. Guggenheimer, Heinrich W., Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany * German Edition, ''Übersetzung des Talmud Yerushalmi'', published by Martin Hengel, Peter Schäfer, Hans-Jürgen Becker, Frowald Gil Hüttenmeister, Mohr&Siebeck, Tübingen, Germany * Modern Elucidated 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


Index

"A widely accepted and accessible index" was the goal driving several such projects.: * Michlul haMa'amarim, a three-volume index of the Bavli and Yerushalmi, containing more than 100,000 entries. Published by
Mossad Harav Kook Mossad HaRav Kook ( he, מוסד הרב קוק, "Rabbi Kook Institute") is a religious research foundation and publishing house based in Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical a ...
in 1960. * Soncino: covers the entire Talmud Bavli; released 1952; 749 pages * HaMafteach ("the key"): released by
Feldheim Publishers Feldheim Publishers (or Feldheim) is an American Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish publisher of Torah books and literature. Its extensive catalog of titles includes books on Jewish law, Torah, Talmud, Jewish lifestyle, Shabbat and Jewish holidays, ...
2011, has over 30,000 entries. * Search-engines:
Bar Ilan University Bar-Ilan University (BIU, he, אוניברסיטת בר-אילן, ''Universitat Bar-Ilan'') is a public research university in the Tel Aviv District city of Ramat Gan, Israel. Established in 1955, Bar Ilan is Israel's second-largest academic i ...
's ''Responsa Project'' CD/search-engine.


Printing


Bomberg Talmud 1523

The first complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud was printed in Venice by
Daniel Bomberg Daniel is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the o ...
1520–23 with the support of
Pope Leo X Pope Leo X ( it, Leone X; born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, 11 December 14751 December 1521) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 9 March 1513 to his death in December 1521. Born into the prominent political an ...
. In addition to the ''Mishnah'' and ''Gemara'', Bomberg's edition contained the commentaries of
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see #Name, below), was a France in the Middle Ages, medieval Fr ...
and
Tosafot The Tosafot, Tosafos or Tosfot ( he, תוספות) are medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of ...
. Almost all printings since Bomberg have followed the same pagination. Bomberg's edition was considered relatively free of censorship.


Froben Talmud 1578

Ambrosius Frobenius collaborated with the scholar Israel Ben Daniel Sifroni from Italy. His most extensive work was a Talmud edition published, with great difficulty, in 1578–81.


Benveniste Talmud 1645

Following Ambrosius Frobenius's publication of most of the Talmud in installments in Basel,
Immanuel Benveniste Immanuel Benveniste The Spanish Benveniste family is an old, noble, wealthy, and scholarly Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed o ...
published the whole Talmud in installments in Amsterdam 1644–1648, Although according to Raphael Rabbinovicz the Benveniste Talmud may have been based on the Lublin Talmud and included many of the censors' errors. "It is noteworthy due to the inclusion of ''Avodah Zarah'', omitted due to Church censorship from several previous editions, and when printed, often lacking a title page.


Slavita Talmud 1795 and Vilna Talmud 1835

The edition of the Talmud published by the Szapira brothers in Slavita was published in 1817, and it is particularly prized by many
rebbe A Rebbe ( yi, רבי, translit=rebe) or Admor ( he, אדמו״ר) is the spiritual leader in the Hasidic Judaism, Hasidic movement, and the personalities of List of Hasidic dynasties, its dynasties.Heilman, Samuel"The Rebbe and the Resurgence o ...
s of
Hasidic Judaism Hasidism, sometimes spelled Chassidism, and also known as Hasidic Judaism (Ashkenazi Hebrew: חסידות ''Ḥăsīdus'', ; originally, "piety"), is a Judaism, Jewish religious group that arose as a spiritual revival movement in the territory ...
. In 1835, after a religious community copyright was nearly over, and following an acrimonious dispute with the Szapira family, a new edition of the Talmud was printed by Menachem Romm of
Vilna Vilnius ( , ; see also #Etymology and other names, other names) is the capital and List of cities in Lithuania#Cities, largest city of Lithuania, with a population of 592,389 (according to the state register) or 625,107 (according to the munic ...
. 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 Talmud Bavli. 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 and , sides A and B (
recto and verso ''Recto'' is the "right" or "front" side and ''verso'' is the "left" or "back" side when text is written or printed on a leaf of paper () in a bound item such as a codex, book, broadsheet, or pamphlet. Etymology The terms are shortened from ...
). 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 Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Judaism, Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabb ...
generally refers to the tractate or chapters within a tractate (e.g. Berachot Chapter 1, ). 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 Halakha 1, , 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 Jerusalem Talmud. Nowadays, reference is usually made in format 'Tractate daf a/b''(e.g. Berachot 23b, ). Increasingly, the symbols "." and ":" are used to indicate Recto and Verso, respectively (thus, e.g. Berachot 23:, ). These references always refer to the pagination of the Vilna Talmud.


Critical editions

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 late 19th 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 commentaries. # Some thirteen volumes have been published by the Institute for the Complete Israeli 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 A ta'anit or ta'anis (Mishnaic Hebrew Mishnaic Hebrew is the Hebrew of Talmud, Talmudic texts. Mishnaic Hebrew can be sub-divided into Mishnaic Hebrew proper (also called Tannaim, Tannaitic Hebrew, Early Rabbinic Hebrew, or Mishnah, Mishnaic ...
''), 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 rabbi Yosef 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 University.


Editions for a wider audience

A number of editions have been aimed at bringing the Talmud to a wider audience. Aside from the Steinsaltz and Artscroll/Schottenstein sets there are: * 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, "Talmud to the people", was published in Israel in the 1960s–80s. It contains Hebrew text, English translation and commentary by Arnost Zvi 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 1. * Tuvia's ''Gemara Menukad'': includes vowels and punctuation (''Nekudot''), including for Rashi and Tosafot. It also includes "all the abbreviations of that ''amud'' on the side of each page."


Incomplete sets from prior centuries

* Amsterdam (1714, ''Proops'' Talmud and ''Marches/de Palasios'' Talmud): Two sets were begun in Amsterdam in 1714, a year in which "acrimonious disputes between publishers within and between cities" regarding reprint rights also began. The latter ran 1714–1717. Neither set was completed, although a third set was printed 1752–1765.


Other notable editions

Lazarus Goldschmidt published an edition from the "uncensored text" of the Babylonian Talmud with a German translation in 9 volumes (commenced Leipzig, 1897–1909, edition completed, following emigration to England in 1933, by 1936). Twelve volumes of the Babylonian Talmud were published by Mir Yeshiva refugees during the years 1942 thru 1946 while they were in
Shanghai Shanghai (; , , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flow ...
. The major tractates, one per volume, were: "Shabbat, Eruvin, Pesachim, Gittin, Kiddushin, Nazir, Sotah, Bava Kama, Sanhedrin, Makot, Shevuot, Avodah Zara" (with some volumes having, in addition, "Minor Tractates"). A Survivors' Talmud was published, encouraged by President Truman's "responsibility toward these victims of persecution" statement. The U.S. Army (despite "the acute shortage of paper in Germany") agreed to print "fifty copies of the Talmud, packaged into 16-volume sets" during 1947–1950. The plan was extended: 3,000 copies, in 19-volume sets.


Role in Judaism

The Talmud represents the written record of an
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and Culture, cultural material is received, preserved, and transmitted orally from one generation to another.Jan Vansina, Vansina, Jan: ''Oral Traditio ...
. It provides an understanding of how laws are derived, and it became the basis for many rabbinic legal codes and customs, most importantly for the
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
and for the
Shulchan Aruch The ''Shulchan Aruch'' ( he, שֻׁלְחָן עָרוּך , literally: "Set Table"), sometimes dubbed in English as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most widely consulted of the various Codification (law), legal codes in Judaism. It was authored i ...
. Orthodox and, to a lesser extent, Conservative Judaism accept the Talmud as authoritative, while Samaritan, Karaite, Reconstructionist, and Reform Judaism do not.


Sadducees

The Jewish sect of the
Sadducees The Sadducees (; he, צְדוּקִים, Ṣədūqīm) were a socio-religious sect of Jewish people who were active in Judea during the Second Temple period, from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Second Temple , Temple in ...
(
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
: צְדוּקִים) flourished during the Second Temple period. Principal distinctions between them and the
Pharisees The Pharisees (; he, פְּרוּשִׁים, Pərūšīm) were a Jews, Jewish social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temp ...
(later known as Rabbinic Judaism) involved their rejection of an ''Oral Torah'' and their denying a resurrection after death.


Karaism

Another movement that rejected the Oral Torah as authoritative was
Karaism Karaite Judaism () or Karaism (, sometimes spelt Karaitism (; ''Yahadut Qara'it''); also spelt Qaraite Judaism, Qaraism or Qaraitism) is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement characterized by the recognition of the written T ...
, which arose within two centuries after 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 According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law ( he, , Tōrā šebbəʿal-pe}) are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah ( he, , Tōrā šebbī ...
, as embodied in the Talmud, in favor of a strict adherence only to the Written Torah. This opposes the fundamental Rabbinic concept that the Oral Torah was given to
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
on
Mount Sinai Mount Sinai ( he , הר סיני ''Har Sinai''; Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Se ...
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 Torah.


Reform Judaism

The rise of
Reform Judaism Reform Judaism, also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism, is a major Jewish religious movements, Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of Judaism, the superiority of its Jewish ethics, ethical aspects to its ceremon ...
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: 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.


Humanistic Judaism

Within
Humanistic Judaism Humanistic Judaism ( ''Yahadut Humanistit'') is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish movement that offers a Nontheism, nontheistic alternative to contemporary branches of Judaism. It defines Judaism as the Jewish culture, cultural and Jewish his ...
, Talmud is studied as a historical text, in order to discover how it can demonstrate practical relevance to living today.


Present day

Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist and theologically conservative branches of contemporary Judaism. Jewish theology, Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Torah, Written and Oral Torah, Or ...
continues to stress the importance of Talmud study as a central component of
Yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a traditional Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basi ...
curriculum, in particular for those training to become rabbis. This is so even though ''Halakha'' is generally studied from the medieval and early modern codes and not directly from the Talmud. Talmudic study amongst the laity is widespread in Orthodox Judaism, with daily or weekly Talmud study particularly common in
Haredi Judaism Haredi Judaism ( he, ', ; also spelled ''Charedi'' in English; plural ''Haredim'' or ''Charedim'') consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to ''halakha'' (Jewish law) and traditions, in oppos ...
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 ''Daf Yomi'' ( he, דף יומי, ''Daf Yomi'', "page of the day" or "daily wikt:folio, folio") is a daily regimen of learning the Oral Torah and its commentaries (also known as the Gemara), in which each of the List of masechtot, chapters, mishna ...
'', a daily course of Talmud study initiated by rabbi
Meir Shapiro Yehuda Meir Shapiro ( pl, Majer Jehuda Szapira; March 3, 1887 – October 27, 1933), was a prominent Polish Jews, Polish Hasidic rabbi and rosh yeshiva, also known as the Lubliner Rav. He is noted for his promotion of the Daf Yomi study progr ...
in 1923; its 13th cycle of study began in August 2012 and ended with the 13th Siyum HaShas on January 1, 2020. The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute has popularized the "MyShiur – Explorations in Talmud" to show how the Talmud is relevant to a wide range of people.
Conservative Judaism Conservative Judaism, known as Masorti Judaism outside North America, is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement which regards the authority of ''halakha'' (Jewish law) and traditions as coming primarily from its people and com ...
similarly emphasizes the study of Talmud within its religious and rabbinic education. Generally, however, Conservative Jews study the Talmud as a historical source-text for
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
. The Conservative approach to legal decision-making emphasizes placing classic texts and prior decisions in a historical and cultural context and examining the historical development of
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
. 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 Halakha''.
Reform Judaism Reform Judaism, also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism, is a major Jewish religious movements, Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of Judaism, the superiority of its Jewish ethics, ethical aspects to its ceremon ...
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 ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
and uses the Talmud as a source of inspiration and moral instruction. Ownership and reading of the Talmud is not widespread among
Reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associati ...
and Reconstructionist Jews, who usually place more emphasis on the study of the Hebrew Bible or
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' File:Carl Schleicher Jüdische Szene 1.jpg, ''Jewish Scene I'' File:Carl Schleicher Jüdische Szene 2.jpg, ''Jewish Scene II'' File:Carl Schleicher Eine Streitfrage aus dem Talmud.jpg, ''A Controversy Whatsoever on Talmud'' File:Carl Schleicher Beim Rabbi.jpg, ''At the Rabbi's''


Jewish art and photography

File:Juden beim Talmudstudium Paris 19-20Jh.jpg, ''Jews studying Talmud'', París, c. 1880–1905 File:Samuel Hirszenberg 'Szkoła talmudystów'.jpg, Samuel Hirszenberg, ''Talmudic School'', c. 1895–1908 File:The Talmud students.jpg,
Ephraim Moses Lilien Ephraim Moses Lilien ( pl, Maurycy Lilien, ; 23 May 1874 – 18 July 1925) was an art nouveau illustrator and printmaker particularly noted for his art on Jewish themes. He is sometimes called the "first Zionist artist."Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
and his disciples, while the Christian canon makes mention of Talmudic figures and contains teachings that can be paralleled within the Talmud and
Midrash ''Midrash'' (;"midrash"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
he, מִדְרָשׁ; ...
. The Talmud provides cultural and historical context to the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message (" the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words a ...
and the writings of the Apostles. 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 was a Japanese diplomatic critic known for promoting historical revisionism. His father, Toshikazu Kase, was a diplomat under Shigenori Tōgō who negotiated an end to the Pacific war. Yoko Ono is his cousin. Revisionist organizations Kase was ...
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 the 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 Japanese. 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.


Criticism

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 Nicholas Donin (french: Nicolas Donin) of La Rochelle La Rochelle (, , ; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''La Rochéle''; oc, La Rochèla ) is a city on the west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It i ...
, Johannes Pfefferkorn,
Johann Andreas Eisenmenger Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654 in Mannheim – 20 December 1704 in Heidelberg) was a German oriental studies, Orientalist from the Electorate of the Palatinate, now best known as the author of ''Entdecktes Judenthum'' (''Judaism Unmasked''), whic ...
, the Frankists, and August Rohling.Rodkinson Many attacks come from antisemitic sources such as Justinas Pranaitis, Elizabeth Dilling, or
David Duke David Ernest Duke (born July 1, 1950) is an American white supremacy, white supremacist, Antisemitic canard, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, far-right politician, convicted felon, and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. ...
. Criticisms also arise from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish sources, as well as from atheists and skeptics. Accusations against the Talmud include alleged: # Anti-Christian or anti-Gentile content # Absurd or sexually immoral content # Falsification of scripture Defenders of the Talmud point out 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 and its basic character as a detailed record of discussions that preserved statements by a variety of sages, and from which statements and opinions that were rejected were never edited out. Sometimes the misrepresentation is deliberate, and other times simply due to an inability to grasp the subtle and sometimes confusing and multi-faceted narratives in the Talmud. Some quotations provided by critics deliberately omit passages in order to generate quotes that appear to be offensive or insulting.


Middle Ages

At the very time that the
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bāvel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babi ...
ian ''
savoraim A ''Savora'' (; Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated i ...
'' put the finishing touches to the redaction of the Talmud, the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), ...
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus, ; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ambitious but ...
issued his edict against ''deuterosis'' (doubling, repetition) of the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
. It is disputed whether, in this context, ''deuterosis'' means "Mishnah" or "
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the ''Tanakh'') that a professional translator ( ''mǝturgǝmān'') would give in the common language of the ...
": in patristic literature, the word is used in both senses. 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 Nicholas Donin (french: Nicolas Donin) of La Rochelle La Rochelle (, , ; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''La Rochéle''; oc, La Rochèla ) is a city on the west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It i ...
, a Jewish convert to Christianity, pressed 35 charges against the Talmud to
Pope Gregory IX Pope Gregory IX ( la, Gregorius IX; born Ugolino di Conti; c. 1145 or before 1170 – 22 August 1241) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomination ...
by translating a series of blasphemous passages about
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
, Mary or Christianity. There is a quoted Talmudic passage, for example, where
Jesus of Nazareth Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
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 The Disputation of Paris ( ''Mishpat Pariz''; ), also known as the Trial of the Talmud (), took place in 1240 at the court of King Louis IX Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis or Louis the Saint, wa ...
, which took place in 1240 at the court of
Louis IX of France Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis or Louis the Saint, was King of France from 1226 to 1270, and the most illustrious of the House of Capet, Direct Capetians. He was Coronation of the French monarch, c ...
, where four rabbis, including
Yechiel of Paris Yechiel ben Joseph of Paris or Jehiel of Paris, called Sire Vives in French (Judeo-French: ) and Vivus Meldensis ("Vives of Meaux") in Latin, was a major Talmudic scholar and Tosafist from northern France, father-in-law of Isaac ben Joseph of Corb ...
and Moses ben Jacob of Coucy, defended the Talmud against the accusations of Nicholas Donin. The translation of the Talmud from Aramaic to non-Jewish languages stripped Jewish discourse from its covering, something that was resented by Jews as a profound violation. The 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 Talmud continued. The Talmud was likewise the subject of the
Disputation of Barcelona The Disputation of Barcelona (July 20–24, 1263) was a formal ordered medieval debate Debate is a process that involves formal discourse on a particular topic, often including a Discussion moderator, moderator and audience. In a debate, argu ...
in 1263 between
Nahmanides Moses ben Nachman ( he, מֹשֶׁה בֶּן־נָחְמָן ''Mōše ben-Nāḥmān'', "Moses son of Nachman"; 1194–1270), commonly known as Nachmanides (; el, Ναχμανίδης ''Nakhmanídēs''), and also referred to by the acronym Ra ...
(Rabbi Moses ben Nahman) and Christian convert,
Pablo Christiani Pablo Christiani (or ''Paul Christian''; né "Saúl" or "NN שאול בן" ) was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jew who, having Apostasy in Judaism, converted to Christianity, used his position as a Dominican Order, Dominican friar to endeavor to conver ...
. This same Pablo Christiani made an attack on the 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).Maccoby At the 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 the 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, Jews viewed Christians as misguided and in error, but not among the "heathens" or "pagans" discussed in the Talmud. Both 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 favor of Christianity. Examples of such traditions were statements that the Messiah was born around the time of the destruction of the Temple and that the Messiah sat at the right hand of God. In 1415,
Antipope Benedict XIII Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor (25 November 1328 – 23 May 1423), known as in Spanish and Pope Luna in English, was an Aragonese nobleman who, as Benedict XIII, is considered an antipope (see Western Schism) by the Catholic Church ...
, 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 Johann Reuchlin (; sometimes called Johannes; 29 January 1455 – 30 June 1522) was a German Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Cathol ...
, 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 The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
. An unexpected result of this affair was the complete printed edition of the Babylonian Talmud issued in 1520 by
Daniel Bomberg Daniel is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the o ...
at
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto Regions of Italy, region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400  ...
, under the protection of a papal privilege. Three years later, in 1523, Bomberg published the first edition of the Jerusalem Talmud. 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
Inquisition The Inquisition was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat Christian heresy, heresy, conducting trials of suspected heretics. Studies of the records have found that the overwhelming majority of sentences consi ...
were burned at
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
, 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 Cremona (, also ; ; lmo, label=Cremunés, Cremùna; egl, Carmona) is a city and ''comune'' in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po (river), Po river in the middle of the ''Pianura Padana'' (Po Valley). It is the capi ...
in 1559. Censorship of the Talmud and other Hebrew works was introduced by a papal bull issued in 1554; five years later the Talmud was included in the first
Index Expurgatorius The ''Index Librorum Prohibitorum'' ("List of Prohibited Books") was a list of publications deemed heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted bel ...
; and
Pope Pius IV Pope Pius IV ( it, Pio IV; 31 March 1499 – 9 December 1565), born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by numb ...
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 Basel ( , ), also known as Basle ( ),french: Bâle ; it, Basilea ; rm, label=Sutsilvan, Basileia; other rm, Basilea . is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river High Rhine, Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's List of cities in Switzerland, th ...
(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 Pope Gregory XIII ( la, Gregorius XIII; it, Gregorio XIII; 7 January 1502 – 10 April 1585), born Ugo Boncompagni, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 13 May 1572 to his death in April 1585. He is best known for ...
(1575–85), and in 1593
Clement VIII Pope Clement VIII ( la, Clemens VIII; it, Clemente VIII; 24 February 1536 – 3 March 1605), born Ippolito Aldobrandini, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List ...
renewed the old interdiction against reading or owning it. The increasing study of the Talmud in Poland led to the issue of a complete edition (
Kraków Kraków (), or Cracow, is the second-largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Pol ...
, 1602–05), with a restoration of the original text; an edition containing, so far as known, only two treatises had previously been published at
Lublin Lublin is List of cities and towns in Poland, the ninth-largest city in Poland and the second-largest city of historical Lesser Poland. It is the capital and the center of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 336,339 (December 2021). Lublin i ...
(1559–76). After an 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
Kamieniec Podolski Kamianets-Podilskyi ( uk, Ка́м'яне́ць-Поді́льський, russian: Каменец-Подольский, Kamenets-Podolskiy, pl, Kamieniec Podolski, ro, Camenița, yi, קאַמענעץ־פּאָדאָלסק / קאַמעניץ, ...
, and ordered all copies of the work found in his bishopric to be confiscated and burned. A "1735 edition of Moed Katan, printed in Frankfurt am Oder" is among those that survived from that era. "Situated on the Oder River, Three separate editions of the Talmud were printed there between 1697 and 1739." 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 Talmud was a subject of rather more sympathetic study by many Christian theologians, jurists and Orientalists from the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
on, including
Johann Reuchlin Johann Reuchlin (; sometimes called Johannes; 29 January 1455 – 30 June 1522) was a German Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Cathol ...
,
John Selden John Selden (16 December 1584 – 30 November 1654) was an English jurist, a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law. He was known as a polymath; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned ...
, Petrus Cunaeus,
John Lightfoot John Lightfoot (29 March 1602 – 6 December 1675) was an English churchman, rabbinical scholar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate resea ...
and 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 Talmud, Rashi, Tosafot and 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 The Vatican Apostolic Library ( la, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, it, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat, is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. Formally es ...
. Some modern editions of the 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
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
as the
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
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 Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, most populou ...
. 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 Hermann Strack. 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 recognizable as verbatim quotations from one or other of these. "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 Talmud Exposé (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/8815 ow 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." Historians
Will Will may refer to: Common meanings * Will and testament A will or testament is a legal document that expresses a person's (testator) wishes as to how their property (estate (law), estate) is to be distributed after their death and as to which ...
and
Ariel Durant Ariel Durant (; May 10, 1898 – October 25, 1981) was a Russian-born American researcher and writer. She was the coauthor of ''The Story of Civilization'' with her husband, Will Durant. They were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fict ...
noted a lack of consistency between the many authors of the Talmud, with some tractates in the wrong order, or subjects dropped and resumed without reason. According to the Durants, the Talmud "is not the product of deliberation, it is the deliberation itself."


Contemporary accusations

The Internet is another source of criticism of the Talmud. The
Anti-Defamation League The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, is an international Jews, Jewish non-governmental organization based in the United States specializing in civil rights law. It was founded in late ...
'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 the 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. One who transgresses this commandment will be put to death." This is alleged to be a quote from a book titled ''Libbre David'' (alternatively ''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 Holocaust denial is an antisemitic conspiracy theory that falsely asserts that the Nazi genocide of Jews, known as the Holocaust, is a myth, fabrication, or exaggeration. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements: * ...
book, ''The Six Million Reconsidered'' by William Grimstad.The Six Million Reconsidered: A Special Report by the Committee for Truth in History, p. 16 Historical Review Press, 1979 Gil Student, Book Editor of the Orthodox Union's Jewish Action magazine, 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 Nicholas Donin (french: Nicolas Donin) of La Rochelle La Rochelle (, , ; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''La Rochéle''; oc, La Rochèla ) is a city on the west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It i ...
, and that the criticisms are based on quotations taken out of context and are sometimes entirely fabricated.


See also

* Hadran (Talmud) * List of logical arguments in the Talmud * List of masechtot, chapters, mishnahs and pages in the Talmud * Shas Pollak * Siyum * Siyum HaShas *
Talmudical hermeneutics Talmudical hermeneutics (Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and the ...


References


Notes


Citations


Works cited

* * Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo ''The Infinite Chain: Torah, Masorah, and Man'' (Philipp Feldheim, 1989). * (includes Samuel ha-Nagid's ''Mevo ha-Talmud'', see next section) * Zvi Hirsch Chajes
Mevo Hatalmud
', transl. Jacob Shachter: ''The Students' Guide Through The Talmud'' (Yashar Books, 2005). * * * Fraade, Steven D, "Navigating the Anomalous: Non-Jews at the Intersection of Early Rabbinic Law and Narrative", in * * * * D. Landesman ''A Practical Guide to Torah Learning'' (
Jason Aronson Jason Aronson was an American publisher Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribu ...
, 1995). * * 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", "David Duke", "August Rohling", and "Johannes Pfefferkorn". * A compendium of primary source materials, with commentary. * Maimonides ''Introduction to the
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi ...
''
English translation
* Maimonides ''Introduction to the Commentary on the Mishnah''
Hebrew Fulltext
), transl. Zvi Lampel (Judaica Press, 1998). * Aaron Parry ''The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Talmud'' (Alpha Books, 2004). * 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 Society, 1918 * * Read mor
here
See als
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 ''Keritut'') * collective, ed. Abraham ibn Akra,
Meharere Nemarim
' * Joseph ibn Verga,
She'erit Yosef
' * Isaac Campanton,
Darche ha-Talmud
' *
David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra David ben Solomon ibn (Abi) Zimra ( he, ר׳ דָּוִד בֶּן שְׁלֹמֹה אִבְּן אָבִי זִמְרָא) (1479–1573) also called Radbaz (רַדְבָּ"ז) after the initials of his name, Rabbi David iBn Zimra, was an early Ac ...
, ''Kelale ha-Gemara'' *
Bezalel Ashkenazi Bezalel ben Abraham Ashkenazi ( he, בצלאל בן אברהם אשכנזי) ( 1520 – 1592) was a rabbi and talmudist who lived in History of Israel#Ottoman period (1516–1917), Ottoman Israel during the 16th century. He is best known as the a ...
,
Kelale ha-Gemara
' * Yeshu’ah b. Yosef ha-Levi,
Halichot Olam
' **
Joseph Caro Joseph ben Ephraim Karo, also spelled Yosef Caro, or Qaro ( he, יוסף קארו; 1488 – March 24, 1575, 13 Nisan 5335 Anno mundi, A.M.), was the author of the last great codification of Jewish law, the ''Beit Yosef (book), Beit Yosef'', and it ...
,
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 she-be-al-Pe'') * Moses Chaim Luzzatto,
Derech Tevunot
', translated into English as ''The Ways of Reason'', Feldheim 1988, ** same, ''Sefer ha-Higgayon'', translated into English as ''The Book of Logic'', Feldheim 1995, * 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. 1vol. 2vol. 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 David Joel Stern (September 22, 1942 – January 1, 2020) was an American lawyer and business executive who was the Commissioner of the NBA, commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1984 to 2014. Stern oversaw NBA basketba ...
, 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 lenosaḥ ha-Talmud ha-Bavli'' (The Geonic Talmud: the Attitude of Babylonian Geonim to the Text of the Babylonian Talmud): Jerusalem 2017 * David Weiss Halivni, ''Mekorot u-Mesorot'' (Jerusalem: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1982 on) *
Louis Jacobs Louis Jacobs (17 July 1920 – 1 July 2006) was a leading writer and theologian. He was the rabbi of the New London Synagogue in the United Kingdom. He was also the focus in the early 1960s of what became known as "The Jacobs Affair" in the ...
, "How Much of the Babylonian Talmud is Pseudepigraphic?" Journal of Jewish Studies 28, No. 1 (1977), pp. 46–59 *
Saul Lieberman Saul Lieberman (Hebrew language, Hebrew: שאול ליברמן, May 28, 1898 – March 23, 1983), also known as Rabbi Shaul Lieberman or, among some of his students, The ''Gra"sh'' (''Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul''), was a rabbi and a Talmudic scholar. He s ...
, ''Hellenism in Jewish Palestine'' (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1950) * Moses Mielziner, ''Introduction to the Talmud'': repr. 1997, hardback , paperback * Jacob Neusner, ''Sources and Traditions: Types of Compositions in the Talmud of Babylonia'' (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992). * Aviram Ravitzky, ''Aristotelian Logic and Talmudic Methodology'' (Hebrew): Jerusalem 2009, * Andrew Schumann, ''Talmudic Logic'': (London: College Publications 2012), * Strack, Herman L. and Stemberger, Günter, ''Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash'', tr. Markus Bockmuehl: repr. 1992, hardback , paperback 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-Talmud'' (Hebrew, 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-Talmud'' (Hebrew, with English summary) * Netanel Baadani, Sanhedrin chapter 5: ''Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud'' (Hebrew, with English summary) * Moshe Benovitz, Sukkah chapters 4–5: ''Iggud le-Farshanut ha-Talmud'' (Hebrew, with English summary) Historical study * 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 Antiquity) *
Saul Lieberman Saul Lieberman (Hebrew language, Hebrew: שאול ליברמן, May 28, 1898 – March 23, 1983), also known as Rabbi Shaul Lieberman or, among some of his students, The ''Gra"sh'' (''Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul''), was a rabbi and a Talmudic scholar. He s ...
, ''Hellenism in Jewish Palestine'' (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1950) * John W. McGinley, The Written' as the Vocation of Conceiving Jewishly''. * David Bigman
Finding A Home for Critical Talmud Study


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
Portable Document Format Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format developed by Adobe Systems, Adobe in 1992 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, Computer hardware, ...
. No index volume and n
minor-tractates


(Hebrew)

(Hebrew)

(Hebrew)

(Hebrew)
Full searchable Talmud on Snunit
(Hebrew)

See above, under #Talmud Bavli.
E-Daf
Images of each page of the Babylonian Talmud
Tractate Megillah
.pdf download showing Yemenite vocalization
Shas.org Daf Viewer
(Hebrew)


External links

*
Sefaria.org

Jewish Encyclopedia: Talmud

Jewish History: Talmud
, aish.com

jewishvirtuallibrary.org
Jewish Law Research Guide
University of Miami The University of Miami (UM, UMiami, Miami, U of M, and The U) is a private university, private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. , the university enrolled 19,096 students in 12 colleges and schools across nearly 350 academic major ...
Law Library
A survey of rabbinic literature
by
Ohr Somayach Ohr Somayach may refer to: *Ohr Somayach (book), commentary by Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk **''Ohr Somayach'', common reference to Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk *Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem, a network of yeshivas based in Israel *Ohr Somayach, Monsey, a ...

Introduction to the Talmud
by Rabbi M. Taub
Talmud translation, 13th-14th century
at E-codices {{Authority control Ancient Hebrew texts Mishnah Oral Torah Rabbinic literature Hebrew words and phrases in Jewish law Sifrei Kodesh