The Essential Talmud

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Basic Books, 1976 - Religion - 296 pages
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A general introduction to the beliefs, attitudes, and methods of the sacred text by which the Jewish people have lived and survived through the ages by a renowned Israeli rabbi, scholar, and teacher. The first book to capture the flavor and spirit of the Talmud as a human document and to summarize its main principles as an expression of divine law.
 

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Contents

What Is the Talmud?
3
The Oral LawThe First Generations
10
The Oral LawThe Era of the Zugot Pairs
18
The Tannaim
24
The Compilation of the Mishnah
33
The Amoraim in Babylonia
40
The Amoraim in Palestine
48
The Redaction of the Babylonian Talmud
56
Sacrifices
175
Dietary Laws
184
Ritual Purity and Impurity
193
Ethics and Halakhah
199
Derekh Eretz Deportment
206
The World of Mysticism
211
Method
219
Midrash Halakhic Exegesis
221

Talmudic Exegesis
64
The Printing of the Talmud
74
The Persecution and Banning of the Talmud
81
Structure and Content
87
The Structure of the Talmud
89
The Subject Matter of the Talmud
95
Prayers and Benedictions
101
The Sabbath
108
The Festivals
116
Marriage and Divorce
129
The Status of Women
137
Civil Law
145
Criminal Law
163
The Talmudic Way of Thinking
227
Strange and Bizarre Problems
234
Methods of Study
239
The Talmud and the Halakhah
246
Aggadah in the Talmud
251
What Is a Scholar?
259
The Talmuds Importance for the People
266
The Talmud Has Never Been Completed
272
APPENDIX
277
Orders and Tractates of the Mishnah and Talmud
279
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (1976)

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is internationally regarded as one of the leading scholars and rabbis of this century. His education includes a degree in mathematics from Hebrew University, in addition to his rabbinic studies. Rabbi Steinsaltz founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications; under its aegis, he has published fifty-eight books on the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. His biography of the famed Rabbi Menachem Schneerson will be published in 2007. These books have been translated into Russian, English, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Japanese, and Dutch. He lives in Jerusalem.

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