Doctrinal Dimension – Jewish Sacred Texts – The Talmud

Source: Creative Commons File:J Scheich Die Talmud-Stunde.jpg
Source: Creative Commons File:J Scheich Die Talmud-Stunde.jpg

The Talmud is the comprehensive written version of the Jewish oral law and the subsequent commentaries on it. The Talmud is the source from which the code of Jewish Halakhah (law) is derived. It is made up of the Mishnah and the Gemara. The Mishnah is the original written version of the oral law and the Gemara is the record of the rabbinic discussions following this writing down.

Some Orthodox Jews make it part of their practise to study a page of the Talmud every single day. This is known as DafYomiwhich is the Hebrew expression for ‘page of the day’.

The Mishnah (original oral law written down) is divided into six parts which are called Sedarim, the Hebrew word for order(s).

  • Zera’im (Seeds), is about the laws on agriculture, prayer, and tithes
  • Mo’ed (Festival), is about the sabbath and the festivals
  • Nashim (Women), is about marriage, divorce and contracts
  • Nezikin (Damages), is about the civil and criminal laws, the way courts operate and some further laws on oaths
  • Kodashim (Holy Things), is about sacrificing and the laws of the Temple and the dietary laws
  • Toharot (Purities), is about the laws of ritual purity and impurity.

Further Information

http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/index.html

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