Why is the Talmud important

What is the Talmud?
Along with the Torah, the Talmud is one of the most important writings in Judaism. Talmud, a Hebrew word, means "instruction" or "teaching". In the Talmud no legal texts are written down, but the Talmud is the interpretation of the biblical laws. This font contains around two and a half million words.

There are two versions of the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud is more meaningful and extensive, if not entirely complete. It is made up of the Mishnah and the Babylonian Gemara. It was written in the schools of Babylonia. The Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Palestinian Talmud, which arose in the teaching houses of Israel, is of little importance today. It consists of the Mishnah and the Jerusalem Gemara.

How is the Talmud structured?
The two parts of the Talmud are the Mishnah (repetition, teaching) and the Gemara (addition). The Mishnah is at the heart of the Talmud. It is the first large summarized transcription of the oral Torah, which God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai and which has been passed down orally for centuries. The Gemara is the discussion, completion and explanation of the Mishnah. Around 170 AD, the first interpretations and commentaries on the Torah were written down by rabbis. Each Talmud contains a commentary by Rashi and his students' commentaries. Rashi was a French rabbi and one of the most important Jewish scholars in the Middle Ages. The Talmud is divided into six orders and 63 sections.

What does the Talmud contain?
In the Talmud, the Torah, the 613 commandments and prohibitions, is explained.
Contents of the Talmud are for example:
- Rules for the coexistence of men and women
- Organization of the feast days and the Shabbat
- Food regulations
- Instructions for fasting and ritual purity
- Regulations of criminal, civil and damage law
Two thirds of the content of the Talmud are legal norms and rules, called Halacha, and one third are stories and legends, called Haggadah.

The six orders of the Talmud

How is a Talmud page structured?
Between 1880 and 1886, the Romm brothers designed what is now considered the classic Talmud page in their Vilna printing house. In the middle is the Mishnah and from line 14 the Gemara, written in square letters. On the right is Raschi's comment, on the left there are comments by his students. Smaller comments are written in the lower part.

When was the first Talmud printed?
The first complete printing of the Talmud took place in Venice in the years 1520-1523 in the printing works of the Christian printer Daniel Bomberg. It comprised nine volumes and almost 3500 pages. The almost 400-year-old Talmud was auctioned in New York in 2015 for a record price of $ 9.3 million.

What is a Talmud school?
Some Jews still attend a Talmud school called a yeshiva today. There they learn to read and understand the Torah. In Germany there is a Talmud school in Frankfurt am Main. The Talmud school in F├╝rth was the most famous in Germany. It was closed in 1829.

Are there still old Talmudic writings today?
In the Middle Ages there was Christian hostility to Talmudic literature. This often led to the destruction and burnings of Talmud manuscripts. In the Bavarian State Library there is an almost completely preserved Talmud in Hebrew handwriting.

designed by Lisa O. in the school year 2018/2019