First Steps in the Talmud: A Guide to the Confused

First Steps in the Talmud: A Guide to the Confused

by Jacob Neusner
     
 

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The Talmud is a confusing piece of writing. It begins no where and ends no where but it does not move in a circle. It is written in several languages and follows rules that in certain circumstances trigger the use of one language over others. Its components are diverse. To translating it requires elaborate complementary language. It cannot be translated verbatim

Overview

The Talmud is a confusing piece of writing. It begins no where and ends no where but it does not move in a circle. It is written in several languages and follows rules that in certain circumstances trigger the use of one language over others. Its components are diverse. To translating it requires elaborate complementary language. It cannot be translated verbatim into any language. So a translation is a commentary in the most decisive way. The Talmud, accordingly, cannot be merely read but only studied. It contains diverse programs of writing, some descriptive and some analytical. A large segment of the writing follows a clear pattern, but the document encompasses vast components of miscellaneous collections of bits and pieces, odds and ends. It is a mishmash and a mess. Yet it defines the program of study of the community of Judaism and governs the articulation of the norms and laws of Judaism, its theology and its hermeneutics, Above all else, the Talmud of Babylonia is comprised of contention and produces conflict and disagreement, with little effort at a resolution No wonder the Talmud confuses its audience. But that does not explain the power of the Talmud to define Judaism and shape its intellect. This book guides those puzzled by the Talmud and shows the system and order that animate the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761854357
Publisher:
University Press of America
Publication date:
12/16/2010
Series:
Studies in Judaism Series
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Jacob Neusner is a leading figure in the American academic study of religion. He revolutionized the study of Judaism and brought it into the field of religion, built intellectual bridges between Judaism and other religions, thereby laying the groundwork for durable understanding and respect among religions. He has advanced the careers of younger scholars and teachers through his teaching and publication programs. Neusner's influence on the study of Judaism and religion is broad, powerful, distinctive, and enduring.

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