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Shabbat, November 16, 2013

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In the first decades of the 5th century, Rav Ashi (d. 427) and Ravina I (d. 421) led a group of the Amoraim (Talmudic sages) in the massive undertaking of compiling the Babylonian Talmud -- collecting and editing the discussions, debates and rulings of hundreds of scholars and sages which had taken place in the more than 200 years since the compilation of the Mishnah by Rabbi Judah HaNassi in 189. The last of these editors and compilers was Ravina II, who passed away on the 13th of Kislev of the year 4235 from creation (475 CE); after Ravina II, no further additions were make to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savura'i (476-560). This date thus marks the point at which the Talmud was "closed" and became the basis for all further exegesis of Torah law.

Daily Thought

Where is the Torah? Does it reside in the heavens with the angels? Or in a parchment scroll in the ark of the synagogue? Or with the rabbis and scholars?

It lives in the heart of each person who learns it, in the voice of the one who discusses it and in the life of the one who lives it.

That heart, that voice, that life—that, too, is G‑d’s word.