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The Talmud
09-16-2009, 12:19 PM
Post: #1
The Talmud
Hey, I was just wondering, what can you tell me about the Talmud? We've been learning about it at school and it's really confusing. We saw a picture of a page and there's so many different sections! Apparently it started as a mishnah then a gemara then a talmud, but what are all the other sections? HELP
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09-16-2009, 04:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Talmud
(09-16-2009 12:19 PM)XxXHjJXxX Wrote:  Hey, I was just wondering, what can you tell me about the Talmud? We've been learning about it at school and it's really confusing. We saw a picture of a page and there's so many different sections! Apparently it started as a mishnah then a gemara then a talmud, but what are all the other sections? HELP

There does not seem to be a lot of activity by Jews on this site so you may need to wait a bit for a real answer. In the meantime, I will offer what little I know. Perhaps that may entice a genuine Talmudic scholar to come out and tell me how wrong I am. In fine and well organized detail, no doubt. Big Grin

The Talmud has two main parts:

Mishnah

The Mishnah is the written recording of what had previously been an oral tradition. It is about the Law and discussions of how to interpret it. This oral tradition came from the Pharisees who held that in addition to the written law (the Torah) there was an oral tradition that expanded on it. By contrast, the Sadducees held that the only law is the written one. The Sadducees also ran the Temple and were therefore in charge of formal religious observance. As an aside, the idea of an afterlife (and other ideas) come to Christianity via the oral tradition of the Pharisees. The Sadducees denied the existence of an afterlife.

The Jewish Revolt against the Romans ended in 70 CE with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (along with Jerusalem itself and much of Judaea). For Jews everywhere, Judaism had revolved around the religious rites performed in the Temple. The Pharisees proceeded to rebuild Judaism around a new principle of rabbinic authority involving tradition and discussion. This eventually (by 200 CE) resulted in the creation of the Mishnah, a compendium of scholarly thought from the oral tradition, written down and organized by subject.

Gemara

This consists of extended discussions of points in the Mishnah, the result of debates among scholars. The presentation is typically recorded in the form of a series of questions and answers. Also, there are discussions relating laws in the Mishnah to their Biblical foundations. The Gemara was formed over a period of several hundred years.

There are actually two different Gemaras created in parallel in two different places, Jerusalem (maybe) and Babylon. The Babylonian Talmud, containing the Gemara written there, is generally considered the standard Talmud.


In addition to the Mishnah and the Gemara, there are many subsequent writings discussing the Talmud. Although those who study these are called Talmudic scholars, these additional commentaries are strictly speaking not part of the Talmud.

We can see how the Talmud and its associated writings are important to rabbinic Judaism. They provide a firm basis for a more or less common form of Judaism without having a God-ordained central point of authority as the Temple was.

IMHO that is. Wink
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09-18-2009, 02:51 PM
Post: #3
RE: The Talmud
Thanks, I understand it a lot better now. But could you help me out with the Midrash? lol =]
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09-18-2009, 04:48 PM
Post: #4
RE: The Talmud
(09-18-2009 02:51 PM)XxXHjJXxX Wrote:  Thanks, I understand it a lot better now. But could you help me out with the Midrash? lol =]

The Midrash is many different writings covered by this single term. What they have in common is that they are interpretations of and commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. That covers a lot of territory, from simple retelling of various portions with historical details filled in, to homilies illustrating moral points, to commentaries on application of the law, to outright mysticism. The Midrash is many separate works written between the 2nd century and the 16th century. Like some early Christian writings some of the works covered by the term Midrash exist today only in incomplete form.
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12-29-2009, 03:07 PM
Post: #5
RE: The Talmud
Asking about the Talmus is general, there are so many subject in the Talmud. Actually it deals with every issue on earth.

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