ANSWERS: 4
  • It is a compilation of Rabbinic discussions pertaining to law. So it is a record of these that may be studied and further discussed.
  • The Origin The rabbis put this oral law into writing, in addition to composing commentaries on it, and then commentaries on the commentaries, all of which together became known as the Talmud. From the Gentile point of view, the “Tanakh,” or Jewish Bible, is the most important of Jewish writings. However, the Jewish view is different. Many Jews would agree with the comment by Adin Steinsaltz, a rabbi: “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 . . . No other work has had a comparable influence on the theory and practice of Jewish life.” (The Essential Talmud) What, then, is the Talmud? Orthodox Jews believe not only that God gave the written law, or Torah, to Moses at Mount Sinai but also that God revealed to him specific explanations of how to carry out that Law, and that these were to be passed on by word of mouth. This was called the oral law. Thus, the Talmud is the written summary, with later commentaries and explanations, of that oral law, compiled by rabbis from the second century C.E. into the Middle Ages. The Talmud is usually divided into two main sections:
  • its a jewish custom, dont know much about it
  • Judaism in any practical and practicable sense must rely on a body of law which begins with the written text of the Torah as transmitted through moses to the children of Israel and taught and retaught down the line. But the text, on its own, is often confusing and unclear. But the text makes reference to another body of work, and oral law also given at Sinai, to complement and explain the written text. This set of rules was passed down and discussed. That text plus the discussions which sifted through it and explained (or argued about) its meaning creates the backbone of the talmud. Because it helps establish how it is we practice and do what we do and why, it is of equal importance along with the written text which simply says WHAT we do.

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