Enter Your Special
Offer Code Here:
  
     Search:             Advanced search


eBook Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash
Larger view

Author:  
Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  The Jewish Publication Society
Published:  2004
Language:  English
Pages:   381


Free Preview I thought it might be of interest to you Add to wish list AddThis Social Bookmark Button
 

Available as:   (for format`s description click on its name)

 

Scholar eBook

$ 34.95 
  BUY NOW

ISBN: 1-59045-773-0




About the Book -- Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash

Although called an "Introduction..." this book is not for novices, but for people who have already substantial level of familiarity with the subject. As such, it continues to be one of the most widely used advanced level introductory texts to the field. It aims to give objective, factual information concerning the whole of the Talmud and to lead into the study of this literary monument equally remarkable for its origin, compass, contents, and the authority which has been accorded to it.

To the extend possible, the author has striven to let himself be influenced neither by polemical nor by apologetic interests. "I shall consider" the author states in Introduction to the first edition, "myself amply rewarded for my laborious work if I shall succeed to remove many a prejudice, whether with those who are unconditionally hostile to the Talmud or with its over-zealous admirers, and to pave the way for a more just and calm appraisal."

This English translation of this widely used work is to all intents and purposes a sixth edition of the original. It was prepared, according to instructions of the author as transmitted by his widow, from a copy of the fifth German edition revised by the author and marked: “Manuscript ready for the Printer. For the English translation.” The corrections were either noted on the margins or on separate slips. It was also the author’s wish that numerous corrections which he had received from Dr. Samuel Klein of Novo-Zamki, Professor in the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as those contained in Professor Alexander Marx’s review in the Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, XIII (1922–23), 352–365, should as far as feasible be incorporated in this translation. Moreover, without altering author's own words, the translator only added footnotes containing numerous parenthetical remarks. (The book as the whole contains more then 6,000 footnotes. As a Vardabook, all of them are hot-wired for instant access.) Also, the matter appearing here as Appendices IIV has been taken out of the body of the book and placed at the end to make the book more readable in its English translation, while in no way impairing its usefulness as a work of reference.

Each section of the Introduction is based on a common plan: The text is briefly discussed; variant textual versions of texts are discussed; English translations are noted; and entire books is fully annotated. The book has sections on Rabbinical Hermeneutics and the Oral Tradition. It covers the Mishna, Tosefta, Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds as well as the extracanonical tractates. Best of all, it covers all the classical midrashim compilations (midrash). This includes all the halakhic, exegetical and homiletic midrashim.

In re-publishing this work, we are certain that there is not a scholar, who will not be able to learn from it or at least be stimulated in one respect or another. In re-publishing this work in digital format, we are certain that all those who read it will profit way more from it more in terms of saved time and acquisition of knowledge then ever before, when it was available only on the paper.



About the Book

Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRELIMINARY REMARKS

§ 1 Abbreviations .................................................................. xiii
§ 2 Transliteration of Hebrew Characters ................................. xv
§ 3 Mode of Citation .............................................................. xv

PART I
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALMUD

Chapter I: Definition of Terms ..................................... ............3–7
§ 1 Mishna ............................................................................3
§ 2 Mathnitha ........................................................................3
§ 3 Baraitha ..........................................................................4
§ 4 Gemara ...........................................................................5
§ 5 Talmud ................................................................ ...........5
§ 6 Midrash.................................................................  .........6
§ 7 Halakah ...........................................................................6
§ 8 Haggada ..........................................................................7

Chapter II: A Sketch of the History of the Talmud.............. ........8–25
§ 1 The Beginnings of Traditional Lore.......................................8
§ 2 The Interdict on Writing Down ............................................12
§ 3 The Traditional Law up to the Codification of the Mishna by Rabbi ..........20

Chapter III: The Division of the Mishna (the Talmuds, the
Tosephta) and the Arrangement of its Parts .............................26–28
§ 1 Orders, Tractates, Chapters .............................................26
§ 2 Tabular Survey of the Tractates in Mishna, Talmuds and Tosephta ............28
§ 3 Alphabetical List of Tractates in the Mishna ...................... 28
§ 4 The Opening Words of those Chapters in the Babylonian Talmud
which have Gemara, in alphabetical order ................................28

Chapter IV: Contents of the sixty-three Tractates of the
Mishna according to the Order of Moses Maimonides ..............29–64
§ 1 First Order: Zera‘im ‘Seeds’ .............................................29
§ 2 Second Order: Mo‘ed ‘Festivals’ .......................................34
§ 3 Third Order: Nashim ‘Women’ ..........................................43
§ 4 Fourth Order: Nezikin ‘Damages’ ......................................48
§ 5 Fifth Order: Kodashim ‘Sacred things’ ...............................54
§ 6 Sixth Order: Toharoth ‘Purities’ .........................................59

Chapter V: The Palestinian Talmud .......................................65–69
§ 1 A Sketch of the History of the Palestinian Talmud............. 65
§ 2 The Absence of Many Tractates ......................................66
§ 3 The Authority of the Palestinian Talmud ...........................69

Chapter VI: The Babylonian Talmud ......................................70–72

Chapter VII: The Extra-canonical Tractates.............................73–74
§ 1 The Tractates which are joined to the Babylonian Talmud ..73
§ 2 The Other ‘Small Tractates’ ........................................... 74
Chapter VIII: The Tosephta ...................................................75–76
Chapter IX: History of the Talmud Text ..................................77–86
§ 1 General Remarks ..........................................................77
§ 2 Manuscripts (and Ancient Citations in lieu of them)...........79
§ 3 Editions.........................................................................83

Chapter X: A Characterization of the Talmud...........................87–92
§ 1 How opinions clash ........................................................87
§ 2 How a correct point of view may be obtained .....................88
§ 3 Obligatory Character and Significance of the Talmud for Judaism .............89

Chapter XI: Hermeneutics of the Talmud and the Midrashim ....93–98
§ 1 Introductory Remarks ....................................................93
§ 2 The oldest norms of interpretation.................................. .93
§ 3 The thirteen Middoth of R. Ishmael ..................................95
§ 4 The two and thirty Middoth............................................ .95
§ 5 Concluding Remarks .....................................................98
Chapter XII: Textual Specimens in Translation........................99–104
§ 1 Hullin 8. 1 with Gemara 103b–104b .............................. ..99
§ 2 Baba Mesi‘a 1. 8 with Gemara 20a–21a...........................100

Chapter XIII: The More Important Teachers............................ 105–134
§ 1 Bibliography..................................................................105
§ 2 The oldest period and the five ‘Pairs’ ...............................107
§ 3 First Generation of Tannaim ...........................................109
§ 4 Second Generation of Tannaim (ca. 90–130 C.E.) ............110
§ 5 Third Generation of Tannaim (ca. 130–160 C.E.) .............. 114
§ 6 Fourth Generation of Tannaim .........................................116
§ 7 Fifth Generation of Tannaim.............................................118
§ 8 First Generation of Amoraim ...........................................119
§ 9 Second Generation of Amoraim .......................................121
§ 10 Third Generation of Amoraim .........................................124
§ 11 Fourth Generation of Amoraim .......................................128
§ 12 Fifth Generation of Amoraim...........................................130
§ 13 Sixth Generation of Amoraim: Babylonia .........................132
§ 14 Seventh Generation of Amoraim: Babylonia .....................133
§ 15 The Saboraim................................................................133

Chapter XIV: Literature...........................................................135–198
§ 1 Introductions .................................................................. 135
§ 2 Translations ....................................................................142
§ 3 Commentaries .................................................................145
§ 4 Aids for the Understanding of Language .............................159
§ 5 Halakah ..........................................................................163
§ 6 Haggada .........................................................................166
§ 7 Further Material for the Understanding of the Old Testament 171
§ 8 Theology, Liturgy, Sects, Superstition................................172
§ 9 Ethics ............................................................................ 178
§ 10 Further Material for the Understanding of the New Testament....179
§ 11 Philosophy, Mathematics, Linguistics, Pedagogy .............182
§ 12 Jurisprudence ................................................................183
§ 13 History ..........................................................................189
§ 14 Geography ....................................................................192
§ 15 Natural Sciences and Medicine .......................................193
§ 16 Antiquities .....................................................................195

PART II

INTRODUCTION TO THE MIDRASHIM

Chapter XV: Introductory Remarks ...........................................201–205
§ 1 Character of Midrash .........................................................201
§ 2 Committing the Midrash to Writing ......................................203
§ 3 Remarks on the Structure of the Midrashim..........................204

Chapter XVI: The Tannaitic Midrashim Mekiltha, Siphra, Siphre ...206–209
§ 1 Midrashim of the School of Akiba ........................................206
§ 2 Midrashim of the School of Ishmael .....................................207
§ 3 Bibliography.......................................................................208

Chapter XVII: The Homiletic Midrashim ......................................210–216
§ 1 Pesiktha (deRab Kahana) ...................................................210
§ 2 Wayyikra Rabba ................................................................211
§ 3 Tanhuma or Yelammedenu .................................................212
§ 4 Pesiktha Rabbathi ............................................................ 213
§ 5 Debarim Rabba, Bemidbar R., Shemoth R.............................214
§ 6 Smaller Homiletical Midrashim .............................................215

Chapter XVIII: The Oldest Expositional Midrashim .......................217–219
§ 1 Bereshith Rabba .................................................................217
§ 2 Midrash on Lamentations.....................................................218

Chapter XIX: Midrashim on the Five Megilloth ..............................220–222
§ 1 The so-called Rabboth .........................................................220
§ 2 Other Midrashim on the Megilloth .........................................221

Chapter XX: Other Expositional Midrashim...................................223–224

Chapter XXI: Other Haggadic Works............................................225–229
§ 1 Narrative Haggada............................................................... 225
§ 2 Ethical Midrashim................................................................227
§ 3 Mysticism (also Symbolism of Letters and Numbers) .............228

Chapter XXII: Collective Works and Commentaries which go by
the Name of Midrash ........................................................... ....230–232

Chapter XXIII: Midrash Collections and Translations......................233–234
§ 1 Midrash Collections.............................................................233
§ 2 Translations .......................................................................233

NOTES
To Part 1..................................................................................235
To Part II .................................................................................328

INDEXES
I Hebrew and Aramaic Words Explained ....................................347
II Titles of Books ..................................................................... 349
III Proper Names ......................................................................351

APPENDICES
I Tabular Survey of the Tractates in Mishna, Talmud and Tosephta ..357
II Alphabetical list of Tractates in the Mishna .................................359
III The Opening words of those Chapters in the Babylonian Talmud
which have Gemara, in Alphabetical Order ....................................360


An Excerpt from the Book -- Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash

§ 1. Midrashim of the School of Akiba.

a. Siphra, ‘The Book,’ or Torath Kohanim, on Levit., contains but little haggadic matter.1 The name Siphra is due to the fact2 that in the schools a beginning was made with the third book of the Torah and not with the first. As the basic element we may consider the exposition by Judah ben El‘ai;3 the final compiler was Hiyya the Elder, pupil and friend of Rabbi.4 It is not likely that the Midrash of the School of Ishmael was drawn upon except indirectly.5—In earlier times the Siphra was divided into nine large sections. At present fourteen divisions are recognized, and it is customary to cite after them (adding at the same time chapter and verse).6 The subdivisions are called in part parashas (indicated by Roman figures), in part perakim (sing. perek, Arabic figures); these subdivisions are again subdivided into mishnayoth.

Frequently citations are also made by folio and column of the edition by Weiss.

b. Siphre on Deut. 12–26, i. e. on the strictly legal part of Deuteronomy.7

c. The Mekiltha of Simeon ben Johai.8 L. Ginzberg9 seeks to prove that Simeon ben Johai was the first author, while Hezekiahson of Hiyya was the final compiler. Both hypotheses are opposed by S. Horovitz,10 it seems with good reason.

d. Siphre Zuta on Num., cited by Jewish writers of the Middle Ages also as Midrash shel-panim aherim a. Wishallehu zuta.11 Especially characteristic are the following points: certain Tannaim are named here who occur in the other halakic Midrashim not at all or only sparingly; mishnayoth which deviate considerably from Rabbi’s Mishna; differences, otherwise unknown, between the Shammaiites and Hillelites; here and there the terminology. S. Horovitz is inclined to pronounce Siphre Zuta as coming from the school of Eliezer ben Jacob II.

§ 2. Midrashim of the School of Ishmael.

a. Mekiltha. The word signifies properly: measure, form, rule for deducing the Halakah from Scripture, Hebr. middah; then straightway: Midrash.1 The name of the M. on Exod. from the school of Ishmael is found in Aruk and Rashi; in older times this book was comprised within the collective term Siphre. The M. sets in at Exod. 12, the first legal piece in Exod., and extends in the main to 23.19, where the chief legal portions of Exod. end; hence it appears that the author aimed to construct an halakic Midrash. However, since he indulges in a running exposition, the greater part is haggadic.2 Two small pieces legal relating to the Sabbath 31.12–17 a. 35.1–3 form the conclusion. The M. is divided into nine tractates massektoth.3

b. Siphre on Num.; because it sets in with the legal matter of Num. 5, it is also called wishallehu. Haggadic elucidations occur.4

c. Siphre on Deut., disconnected pieces in the first part of the book,5 mostly haggadic.6

d. There existed at one time also a Mekiltha of Ishmael on Levit., from which passages are adduced especially in the Talmuds.7

D. Hoffmann8 has compiled from the Ms. of the Midrash hagadol in the State Library at Berlin the tannaitic Midrashim on Deut. which are found therein. The greatest part coincides, if we abstract from numerous and important textual differences, with our Siphre. This book affords new proof that Ishmael’s Mekiltha on Deut. contained also halakic matter.9


An Excerpt from the Book


To feature this book on your website*, together with...

(*appropriate also for your online journal, blog, profile page, or on-line forums):

...cover, title, and metadata...

Preview

...title only...

Preview

...cover only, use

Preview






Please Note: To read our e-books, you need Adobe Acrobat or its free Reader (you can get one from here). Once you have installed it, download and install one of our free security plug-in for to unlock the books that you have purchased  .   
If you have not done it already and if your have either PC or Mac, please click here to install now free security plug-in from FileOpen.
For Linux, click here and choose either "Open" or "Run".
IMPORTANT: Using FileOpen Plugin with your Mac