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Transcript
BIG IDEAS FROM CLASS NINE:
TALMUD: ARGUMENT FOR THE SAKE OF HEAVEN
Contemporary Judaism is based on the innovations of the Rabbis, who explain, expand, and modify
Biblical Judaism to fit a new, post-Temple era. This process is expressed primarily in the debates and
discussions that form the Talmud.
The RABBIS emerge as the leaders of the Jewish People, following the destruction of the Second
Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. They emerge from the sect called the PHARISEES, who believe
that both the WRITTEN TORAH & ORAL TORAH are binding.
The first collection of rabbinic discussion is the MISHNAH, edited in 200 CE. The commentary on
the MISHNAH is the GEMARA, finished in Babylonia around 500 CE. These two works together
form the TALMUD. In other words: MISHNAH + GEMARA = TALMUD
WE ARE NOT BIBLICAL JEWS, WE ARE RABBINIC JEWS:
- the rabbis UPDATED certain laws to keep judaism more relevant.
e.g.: replacing animal sacrifice with prayer and good deeds
- the rabbis EXPANDED certain laws to make judaism more meaningful
e.g.: filling in the details of how one is to make shabbat holy
- the rabbis RESTRICTED certain laws to make judaism more compassionate
e.g.: effectively eliminating the death penalty from jewish law
The Talmud contains two types of material:
HALAKHA: Discussion of Jewish law and practice
AGGADAH: Folk and morality tales, history, theology, and assorted miscellany
Most of the Talmud is written in the form of MAKHLOKET, meaning holy debate.
Of the over 5000 MAKHLOKETs in the Talmud, only around 50 are resolved (LESS
THAN 1%!!!). The Jewish conversation is never closed.