Talmud(redirected from Babylonian Gemara)
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See The Babylonian Talmud (34 vol., tr. 1935–48); J. Goldin, The Living Talmud (1957, repr. 1964); H. L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (1931, repr. 1969); C. G. Montefiore and H. Loewe, ed., A Rabbinic Anthology (1970); J. Neuser, Invitation to the Talmud (1973, repr. 1984); A. Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud (tr. 1992) and Noé Ed. Koren Talmud Bavli (42 vol., tr. 2011–19); C. Malinowitz and Y. S. Schorr, Talmud, Schottenstein Ed. (74 vol., tr. 1997–2005, introd. tr. 2019), D. H. Akenson, Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds (1999); B. S. Wimpfheimer, The Talmud: A Biography (2019).
a collection of dogmatic religious, ethical, and legal tenets of Judaism. Compiled between the fourth century B.C. and the fifth century A.D., it is written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic dialects.
The Talmud comprises precepts on morality and law, discourses on religious doctrine and practices, legends about the universe, and prescientific information on medicine, astronomy, and geography. The oldest part of the Talmud, the Mishnah (“repetition”), interprets the laws of the Pentateuch, which at the time of writing no longer conformed to changing social conditions. The Mishnah also includes interpretations of the Torah that were compiled toward the early third century A.D. and which Orthodox Jews are required to adhere to. Later, the Mishnah itself became a subject of interpretation among Judaic theologians. The body of interpretations revolving around the Mishnah—the Gemara (“completion”)—together with the Mishnah itself, comprises the Talmud.
The part of the Talmud containing the laws that regulate the religious, family, and civic life of the Jews is called the halakah; the nonlegal part, containing myths, legends, parables, tales, and short stories, is called the Haggadah. The Haggadah is based on Middle Eastern folklore. In actuality there are two Talmuds, the Palestinian and Babylonian, named according to the place where the Gemara were compiled.
The Talmud views man as dependent on god, and the social order as inalterable. It advises patience and advocates intolerance toward adherents of other faiths.