A Talmud for Today

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In Israel and the United States, high-level Talmud study thrives today with an intensity unmatched since the days of the great East European yeshivot. Yet to most English readers the Talmud, the essential Jewish compendium of legal and narrative discussion, remains a closed book—or rather 63 books. All the more reason, then, to welcome a new and expertly edited 900-page selection from the “sea of the Talmud.”

What if a dip into the ocean doesn’t suffice? Two English-language editions have come to the aid of the student unversed in the original languages or modes of rabbinic reasoning: a partial translation of a 47-volume Hebrew edition by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who has also written a one-volume introduction to the Talmud, and a complete edition, the work of many hands, known as the Artscroll Schottenstein Talmud. Both are copiously annotated.

A number of book- and essay-length introductions can also be recommended.

You can find this online at: http://www.jidaily.com/bc87e

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