why is the talmud important

Questions of historical reliability, or of outside cultural influence, were in the long run irrelevant to this kind of inquiry. How can questions of Jewish law be resolved from a text that may conceal scribal error on every line? The powerful tug of pagan worship, combined with limited Torah knowledge among the people, often resulted in the abandonment of normative Judaism. During the rebellious reign of King Josiah (c.649-609 BCE), the High Priest Hilkiah discovered a Torah scroll while renovating the Temple, and brought it to the king’s attention. In Schabbath, (145b) it says: "Why are the Goim unclean? Pini Dunner is right to say that the Talmud is the most important Jewish Document, because it has caused more agony, death and devastation than anything else in the entire history of the nation. Both professional and lay Talmudic scholarship is dedicated to determining the proper response to modern issues by intensive study of the Talmud. This must not be understood too literally. It is a depiction of the primary codification of the Jewish decrees. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving also as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews. For this reason, even before the Talmud was complete, ancient rabbis had evolved such a complicated etiquette for Torah study that study became a religious ritual in its own right, indeed, in the opinion of many, the most sacred ritual that Jewish life had to offer. To study Talmud was to converse with the Creator of the Universe. social studies. In addition to the Talmud there have been important commentaries written about it. {image_1}Perhaps this title intrigued you, but you aren’t sure why. The Torah is important because it contains written and oral laws central to the religion of Judaism. On the various motivations and interests which brought Jews into a cross-generational conversation called Talmud. And, isn’t the Talmud a set of writings by Jewish rabbis collected two hundred years after Yeshua (Jesus) lived? Talya Fishman’s new book, “Becoming the People of the Talmud: Oral Torah as Written Tradition in Medieval Jewish Cultures,” addresses an important aspect of the subject. That is why the Talmud is the most important text in Judaism. B. The incredible consequence of this dual system is that it turned the Torah into a living, breathing document, with layer upon layer of depth and meaning. Because Talmud is the study of Jewish jurisprudence. The Talmud itself does not always state with precision what these rules are to be, and in the nature of things it could not anticipate new situations in which these rules would have to be applied. The same fate might have befallen the originators of the Talmud — the Pharisees, as they were known — had they not created their comprehensive record of the Oral Torah. Even as this extraordinary project gathered pace, there were those who opposed it — either because they rejected the concept of an oral tradition altogether, or because they feared that formalizing such a vast body of law would restrict their ability to integrate into contemporary culture. The reason that Josiah consulted Huldah instead of Jeremiah, the senior prophet of his day, was probably because Huldah was the leading Oral Torah teacher of her time, as indicated by an ancient Aramaic translation of 2 Kings (22:14). Why do you think the Talmud is so popular? This is one of the reasons that Talmud study for many people in the modern world is not a practical activity at all, but rather an important religious experience. The Talmud is a written collection of teachings that were originally spoken among Jewish scholars and rabbis. Jews studied Talmud because the act brought them closer to the divine. The Talmud gives two reasons why the Goim are unclean: because they eat unclean things, and because they themselves have not been cleansed (from original sin) on Mount Sinai. To a greater extent than the other main Jewish holy book, the Torah, the Talmud is a practical book about how to live. At some point in the Second Temple era, it must have dawned on the rabbis that the dual system would never truly work unless the oral traditions were properly recorded. Their explanations are found scattered throughout Talmudic and especially Midrashic literature. Nevertheless, the revival was depressingly short-lived, as only a handful of experts were familiar with oral tradition, and the nation once again drifted away from Torah observance. A. the Writings B. the Torah C. the Hebrew Bible D. the Talmud please help i dont want a bad grade again . Which of the following texts contains commentaries on the teachings of Moses? Perhaps most important, it would explain to the uninitiated how to understand the Talmud's complicated logic. In a paradox that determined the history of Judaism, the Talmud was Oral Torah in written form, and as such it became the clearest statement the Jew could hear of God’s very word. The Talmud is a book put together by people who saw intellectual activity as sanctifying. Comprised of the Mishnah and the Gemara, it contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis from different periods in Jewish history. But there is so much more to the Torah than meets the eye. Anyone, however, who aspired to the title “rabbi,” anyone who wished to be part of an ancient chain of tradition, had to become immersed in the “sea of the Talmud.” The Talmud therefore served the additional practical function of training religious leaders. Definition of terms. In its most ambitious expression, rabbinic thinking came to see this activity as not only a way to more toward God—it was also a way to be like God, for God too studies Torah, taught Rav Judah, three hours a day (Avodah Zarah 3b). The message this conveys is that we must never limit our own Torah-study to teaching our children. Engaging in Talmud study allows teens to enter relevant and deep conversations about their lived experience through the use of our most epic, ancient anthology. The three-letter root for the Hebrew word “teach” — LMD. The Talmud is considered the oral traditions that coincide with the Torah. They found holiness in their effort to bring rational order to their tradition, and as a result problem solving and disciplined logic became important characteristics of rabbinic dis­course. — is identical to the root of the Hebrew word for “study.” And the word Otam in the phrase, which refers to the children, appears without the letter “vav,” allowing it to be read Atem (“you”). The Talmud (Hebrew for “study”) is one of the central works of the Jewish people. Together with the Gemara, it makes up the Talmud. The Talmud revealed God speak­ing to Israel, and so the Talmud became Israel’s way to God. Copyright © 2002-2020 My Jewish Learning. It offers commentaries on biblical passages along with guidelines on how to live your life. Together with the Mishnah, these texts make up what is known as Rabbinic Judaism. This is why traditional Judaism focuses so heavily on the study of the Talmud, as opposed to simply reading the text of the Torah. really something Jewish? With the Temple’s destruction in 70 AD, the Sadducees became an anachronism, and disappeared more or less immediately. The first consists of guidelines associated with laws mentioned in the Torah, whose practice is undefined by the text (such as the shape and color of phylacteries, or the fact that the Omer-offering countdown begins on the second day of Passover rather than the following Sunday). Due to Roman persecution of the Jews, it became impossible to maintain the integrity of the Written Law by oral transmission, so the mishna and then the Talmud were transcribed for posterity. Even if the details of the law had to be altered to suit newly arisen conditions, the proper way to perform such adaptation could itself be learned from the Talmud and its commentaries. Thus this basic text uncovered the fullness of God’s rev­elation to the people of the Covenant. The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology. Thus study of the Talmud for its law became a chief activity of those in the community who were charged with teaching and enforcing that law. Nevertheless, Talmudic study has remained entirely unchanged in a very important respect, and will remain unchanged as long as people engage in it. Of these “practical” reasons, one has already been discussed at some length [in the book Back to the Sources]—the Talmud has been studied in order to extract functioning law from its pages. The Talmud explicitly sets out an important principle when it comes to halakhic decision making in Berakhot 9a when it states: “Rabbi Shimon is a great enough authority to rely upon in cases of emergency/pressing need.” We find that there are some instances when the minority opinion may be relied on instead of the majority view. Harry Freedman's The Talmud: A Biography addresses almost all of these subjects . Historical relativity in general and text criticism in particular turn out to raise new religious issues, issues that earlier masters of the rabbinic tradition never had to face. Not all so trained there­upon took up the authority now available to them. The Talmud Is the Link Between Scripture and Jewish Practice The Hebrew Scripture (also known as Torah) is the bedrock of Jewish practice and beliefs. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, German Judge Silences Neo-Nazi Gunman Who Attacked Synagogue on Yom Kippur After He Denies Holocaust, Medieval Antisemitic Carvings on German Churches Should Be Explained, Not Removed, Expert Panel Recommends, Trump Administration Plans to Release List of BDS Groups, ‘Goodbye to Hanukkah’ New York Times Author Distances Herself as Criticism Mounts. It would appear that immediately following the conquest of Canaan, and all the way through the destruction of the First Temple and into the Second Temple period, these traditions remained exclusively oral. A Talmud from Vienna, dating back to 1793. Archeological Talmud: Digging Deeper – R abbi Ysoscher Katz While the Talmud appears to many to be a book of halakha, it is in reality a book of philosophy—Jewish thought shrouded in Jewish jurisprudence. Among their other intellectual enterprises, the rabbis of antiquity spent a great deal of time reading and explaining the Bible. (literally, “study”) is the generic term for the documents that comment and expand upon the Mishnah (“repeating”), the first work of rabbinic law, published around the year 200 CE by Rabbi Judah the Patriarch in the land of Israel. The Talmud was Torah. This explains why the scroll’s discovery and Josiah’s interaction with Huldah resulted in an extraordinary religious renaissance. An intergenerational rabbinic conversation that is studied, not read. And when the pendulum eventually swung back in favor of Torah law — as it always did — the nation would be hampered by its inability to correctly interpret the Sinaitic Torah. . How can the Tal­mud reveal the eternal word of God if it turns out to be the work of third- or fourth-century men living in the fading world of Near Eastern antiquity? If the Bible is the cornerstone of Judaism, then the Talmud is the central pillar, soaring up from the foundations and supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice. But while it is true that the Torah is uniquely revered as the essence of our faith identity — and elevated above all other texts as the unadulterated word of God — the primary text of Judaism is undoubtedly the Talmud. Every Jew since that time owes their existence as a Jew not to the Sinaitic Torah — despite its superior sanctity and sacredness — but to the extraordinary body of knowledge that is the Talmud. In it are things which are listed as acceptable and unacceptable, which using stronger language is viewed as legal or illegal according to Mosaic Law. Some used the train­ing in other ways, and some did not use it at all. The Talmud also plays an important role in Conservative Judaism, although it is viewed as an evolutionary process that changes with the times. The Talmud is divided into six general sections, called sedarim (“orders”):Zera’im (“Seeds”), dealing primarily with the agricultural laws, but also the laws of blessings and prayers (contains 11 tractates).Mo’ed (“Festival”), dealing with the laws of the Shabbat and the holidays (contains 12 tractates).Nashim (“Women”), dealing with marriage and divorce (contains 7 tractates).Nezikin (“Damages”), dealing with civil and criminal law, a… The new types of investigation are not simply “irrelevant” to such a quest; they impede it. Jews needed to know what their holy writings meant, and their ancient rabbis could tell them. . In the end, therefore, the act of Talmud study was holy beyond the holiness to be found in the words of the text. It is always assumed that the most important text of Judaism is the Torah. and continuing through the sixth and seventh centuries C.E. A. In a rather more specialized sense, the Talmud was also of practical use in the study of Scripture. The Talmud provided the means of determining how God wants all Jews to live, in all places, at all times. The Talmud, like the Mishnah before it, has always functioned as a training text for rabbis and their disciples. To ensure the survival of Judaism, we must be prepared to grow our personal Torah knowledge throughout our lives. But while the Sadducees desperately tried to delegitimize Oral Torah as an aberration, they had nothing enduring to offer in exchange. The point is not that God dictated the entire Talmud to later rabbis in the same way some believed the Written Torah had been dictated to Moses, but rather that in the Talmud the Jew could find a clear expression of God’s will. get the best of the algemeiner straight to your inbox! It’s studying how law was made in an ancient civilization, giving a picture into the past. Jews have studied the Talmud for a great variety of reasons. Because they eat abominable things and animals that crawl on their belly." 11:19), “and you shall teach it to them” — namely, your children. First, Exodus 24:4 clearly states that Moshe (Moses) “wrote … In this workshop, we will study Talmud as an exercise in discovery and excavation, looking for the meaning, logic, and ideas that are embedded in Talmudic legal discourse. As a result of this epiphany, the slow process of turning our rich oral backdrop into a structured body of knowledge began. All Rights Reserved. Talmud and Midrash, commentative and interpretative writings that hold a place in the Jewish religious tradition second only to the Bible (Old Testament).. Talmud is the recording of over 700 years of Jewish thought that touches every aspect of human experience. But Talmud study would be helpful even outside the yeshiva world, Steinsaltz believes. The traditional Jew studies Talmud because it communicates ultimate truth—truth about God, truth about the world, and most important, truth about how God wants the holy community of Israel to live. They found holiness in their effort to bring rational order to their tradition, and as a result problem solving and disciplined logic became important characteristics of rabbinic dis­course. And if so, why would a Bible-believing Christian care about the insights and comments from Jewish rabbis, scholars, and sages? Replacing the Bible as the key book taught in Israel’s schools could help … Mr. Likewise in Abhodah Zarah, 22b: Instead, they focused on the Temple as the only important symbol of Jewish identity. Never miss the best stories and events for families, children and teens! The modern scholar, on the other hand, approaches the text for information, not “truth.” Contemporary academic scholars recognize that the Talmud, like any ancient document, must be studied with critical care: Scribes over the many centuries have permitted error to creep into their copies, and even the ancient rabbis themselves occasionally misremembered or misunderstood the traditions they were teaching their disciples. Photo: National Archives and Records Administration. The Talmud is a book put together by people who saw intellectual activity as sanctifying. Modern historical consciousness actually makes the traditional inquiry more difficult than ever. The Talmud was written by men who made an effort to further explain what was found in the torah. Why do Jewish people study the Talmud and Hebrew Bible? [Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Avodah Zarah 36a] While we see the Talmud as an important historical resource, there are many reasons we cannot accept the rabbis’ assertion that it was given by Elohim. To access the vast reservoirs of that knowledge, we must use the Oral Torah as our guide. Reprinted with permission from Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, published by Simon & Schuster. The Torah, also called the Jewish bible, contains the Laws of Moses that outline actions and codes of conduct expected of practitioners of the Jewish faith. In earlier ages, the pious Jew normally approached this same text with one unchanging question in mind, a question itself received from the past: How does the God of Israel, the Creator of the Universe, want me to live? Now, not all rabbis actually served as legal authorities. Studying sacred writings is one of the Ten Commandments. The Talmud, after the Torah, is considered the primary text of Jewish learning. These considerations help ex­plain why modern, critical Talmud study was long resisted in traditional yeshivot [religious academies] and is still excluded from many of them. The Talmud is split into two parts. Pronounced: MISH-nuh, Origin: Hebrew, code of Jewish law compiled in the first centuries of the Common Era. It explains the written texts of the Torah so that people know how to apply it to their lives. The Jewish belief is that Moses received the Torah as a written text alongside a commentary: the Talmud. It is always assumed that the most important text of Judaism is the Torah. The Talmud records the legal and religious discussions thousands of rabbis had over centuries until it was compiled in about 500 CE. Even in the past, for that matter, the main reason for the Talmud’s preeminence, the chief cause of its central role in Jewish history, was not practical at all. These traditions are made up of two distinct parts. But while it is true that the Torah is uniquely revered as the essence of our faith identity andelevated above all other texts as the unadulterated word of Godthe primary text of Judaism is undoubtedly the Talmud. The same reason case law is important. There are a number of important books that Jews read in synagogues (Tanakh, Talmud, Siddur, etc. This almost 2,000-year-old text flies under the radar -- but it's immensely important to Jewish life. This would become the Talmud. “A biography of the Talmud--call it a bibliobiography--is welcome. These Jews became known as the Sadducees, and were comprised of a broad group, encompassing everyone from Torah-scripture literalists to Hellenized Jews. Pronounced: TALL-mud, Origin: Hebrew, the set of teachings and commentaries on the Torah that form the basis for Jewish law. The Talmud is important to Judaism because it is the source of Halakhah (Jewish law). Josiah was confounded by what he read in the scroll, and sent it to Huldah the prophetess to inquire what it meant. Purists believed that the Oral Torah’s dynamism would be fatally compromised if any of it were written down. Thus rabbinic marriage law became Jew­ish marriage law, rabbinic rules about the Sabbath became rules for all Jews, and so on. For most of Jewish history, Jews in various communities have constituted self-governing enclaves within the larger society, and from the time rabbis rose to prominence as leaders of Jewry their legal traditions provided the rules by which these enclaves lived. 1. Light the candles every night with our special guests, Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, Why The Mishnah Is the Best Jewish Book You’ve Never Read. This “academic” function, as has been noted, may in fact be older than the applied-law function just mentioned. The Talmud is the written compilation of the Mishnah and the... See full answer below. There were other practical reasons too, however. It constitutes the foundation of Jewish law, practice and customs to this very day and forms the core curriculum of Orthodox yeshivas. This past Sunday, one of the topics I taught to my 7th grade Hebrew school class was the mitzvah of learning Torah (called Talmud Torah).. This purist approach proved to be a disaster, however — and throughout this period, Jews and Judaism were in constant danger of vanishing completely. The Talmud is a transcription of Torah she'baal'peh, the Oral Law (law that is meant to be transmitted orally). If the Torah had been confined to the original written text, it would never have survived. The Torah itself is fully aware that it must be seen as being greater than the sum of its parts, as indicated by the statement (Deut. In many ways, the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life. Many of these can be labeled practical. After all, isn’t Torah (Gen.–Deut.) Some were teachers, or admin­istrators, or political advisors; some, for that matter, were merchants. Comprised of the Mishnah and the Gemara, it contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis from different periods in Jewish history. But the verses are often terse, containing layers of hidden meaning. The second part consists of a series of interpretative rules that are used to extract information from the often impenetrable text of the Torah. Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses. The final version of the Talmud did not appear until many centuries later, but when it did, it contained a faithful record of discussions and statements by rabbis whose principle aim over hundreds of years had evidently been to formulate a body of knowledge that would both deliver the detailed information lacking in the Sinaitic Torah, while also generating continued enthusiastic discussion and innovation. It is the record of rabbinic teachings that spans a period of about six hundred years, beginning in the first century C.E. Such a book could explain how the Talmud came to be and who reads it and why. My Jewish Learning is a not-for-profit and relies on your help. Later generations of Jews—even Jews who never achieved the ability to study the Talmud itself—did study Scripture; the Pentateuch in particular was read through, year in and year out, in the synagogues. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and bring you ads that might interest you. Experience on our site and bring you ads that might interest you of this epiphany, the became! Israel ’ s way to God result of this epiphany, the Sadducees became an anachronism, and comprised. Throughout Talmudic and especially Midrashic literature, published by Simon & Schuster some were teachers, or of outside influence... ; some, for that matter, were in the first centuries of the Mishnah and Gemara. 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Your children almost 2,000-year-old text flies under the radar -- but it immensely...

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