The Talmud is a collection of writings that covers the full gamut of Jewish law and tradition, compiled and edited between the third and sixth centuries. Written in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic, it records the teachings and discussions of the great academies of the Holy Land and Babylonia. With 2,711 densely packed pages and countless commentaries, learning Talmud is the occupation of a lifetime.

What Does Talmud Mean?

Talmud is Hebrew for "learning," appropriate for a text that people devote their lives to studying and mastering.

Is Talmud the Same as Torah?

As you can read in What Is Torah, in its narrowest sense, Torah refers to the Five Books of Moses, while Talmud contains rabbinic commentaries, traditions and laws couched in the Torah’s infinite wisdom. However, the term Torah is often used to describe all of Jewish scholarship, which includes the Talmud.

Read: Torah Vs. Talmud

What Is the Main Text of the Talmud?

The main text of the Talmud is the Mishnah, a collection of terse teachings written in Hebrew, redacted by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince, in the years following the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

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Where Was the Talmud Written?

Over the next several hundred years after the Mishnah's completion, the rabbis continued to teach and expound. Many of those teachings were collected into two great bodies, the Jerusalem Talmud, containing the teachings of the rabbis in the Land of Israel, and the Babylonian Talmud, featuring the teachings of the rabbis of Babylon. These two works are written in the Aramaic dialects used in Israel and Babylonia respectively.

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Who Wrote the Commentaries?

There are many commentaries written on the Talmuds (mostly on the Babylonian Talmud, which is more widely studied), notably the elucidating notes of Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, 10th Century France), Tosafot (a group of rabbis who lived in the years following Rashi, many of whom were his descendants and/or his students).

These two commentaries are printed together with the Babylonian Talmud, surrounding the main text, having become a part of the study of Talmud. The standard edition of the Babylonian Talmud comprises 2,711 double-sided pages, with many, many more pages filled with the teachings of other commentators.

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Who Studies Talmud?

While the bulk of Talmud study is done by yeshivah students, the Talmud is the heritage of every Jew, and everyone is encouraged to study on their level, including taking advantage of the many excellent classes on

What Are the Six Sections of the Talmud?

The Talmud is divided into six general sections, called sedarim (“orders”):

Zera’im (“Seeds”), dealing primarily with the agricultural laws, but also the laws of blessings and prayers (contains 11 tractates).

Mo’ed (“Festival”), dealing with the laws of the Shabbat and the holidays (contains 12 tractates).

Nashim (“Women”), dealing with marriage and divorce (contains 7 tractates).

Nezikin (“Damages”), dealing with civil and criminal law, as well as ethics (contains 10 tractates).

Kodashim (“Holy [things]”), dealing with laws about the sacrifices, the Holy Temple, and the dietary laws (contains 11 tractates).

Taharot (“Purities”), dealing with the laws of ritual purity (contains 12 tractates).