Difference between revisions of "Talmud"
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Revision as of 10:11, 18 November 2012
The Talmud (Hebrew: תלמוד) (also "Gemara" גמרא) is one of the central documents in Judaism. It is a series of rabbinical discussions based on the Mishna, and, in Judaism, is considered part of the Oral law that was given to Moses along with the written Torah.
Modern editions of the Talmud (most of which printed from plates of a Medieval Italian edition) consist of the Mishna, the Gemara, and the commentaries of various scholars. The Mishna was recorded in Hebrew by a Rabbi named Yehudah HaNasi ("Judah the Prince") around 200 AD. He realized that the oral traditions were in danger of being lost after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The longer part of the Talmud, the Gemara, records ongoing discussions and debates among Rabbis over the three centuries following the creation of the Mishna. It is written in Aramaic.
For a thousand years, the Talmud was preserved in hand-scribed editions. A printed edition was made not long after the invention of movable type. The standard Vilna edition of the Talmud encompasses 2711 large two-sided pages, or folios. The text of the Mishna is interspersed with the Gemara that comments on it. Both texts are surrounded on the printed page with later commentaries.
There are two versions of the Talmud, Babylon (Bavli) and Jerusalem (Yerushalmi). Both are accepted but the Babylonian Talmud is more extensive and more widely studied. Both are available in translation to English, Modern Hebrew, and many other languages.