Talmud

central text of Rabbinic Judaism

The Talmud (Hebrew: תלמוד) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism. It is considered to be an authoritative record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, tracing back to the traditions of the Pharisees.

A complete set of the Babylonian Talmud.
A page from the Rosh Hashanah tractate. The center column contains the Talmud text: first the Mishnah, and then the Gemara, which is marked with the abbreviation גמ׳ (gimel-mem). Surrounding it is the commentary (Rashi on the right, Tosafot on the left), with notes and cross references in the margins. The commentary is written in Rashi script.
An early manuscript, with commentary by Rashi, written in Rashi script. The commentary is at the bottom of the right column, continuing into the left column.
A modern Talmud, the Koren Talmud Bavli, with illustrations, translations into English, and a commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Modern commentaries are not uncontroversial: leading members of the Jewish community have campaigned for a book ban of Steinsaltz' works, deeming his writing style to be too secular.
Yeshiva pupils studying the Talmud.
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Quotes

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Wikipedia page: God in Judaism
 
"The Divine Presence rests upon an individual neither from an atmosphere of sadness, nor from an atmosphere of laziness, nor from an atmosphere of laughter, nor from an atmosphere of frivolity, nor from an atmosphere of idle conversation, nor from an atmosphere of idle chatter, but rather from an atmosphere imbued with the joy of a mitzva." (Shabbat 30b:5)
  • לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁאֵין שְׁכִינָה שׁוֹרָה לֹא מִתּוֹךְ עַצְבוּת וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ עַצְלוּת וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ שְׂחוֹק וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ קַלּוּת רֹאשׁ וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ שִׂיחָה וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ דְּבָרִים בְּטֵלִים, אֶלָּא מִתּוֹךְ דְּבַר שִׂמְחָה שֶׁל מִצְוָה
    • Shabbat 30b:5
    • Translations:
      • The Divine Presence rests upon an individual neither from an atmosphere of sadness, nor from an atmosphere of laziness, nor from an atmosphere of laughter, nor from an atmosphere of frivolity, nor from an atmosphere of idle conversation, nor from an atmosphere of idle chatter, but rather from an atmosphere imbued with the joy of a mitzva.
      • The Divine Presence rests [upon man] though sadness, neither through sloth, nor through jesting, nor through levity, nor through loquacity, nor through [a host of] vain pursuits, but rather through the joyful performance of keeping one's religious duty.[1]

Saving a life

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  • הַמְאַבֵּד נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מַעֲלִין עָלָיו כְּאִילּוּ אִיבֵּד עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וְכָל־הַמְקַייֵם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מַעֲלִין עָלָיו כְּאִילּוּ קִייֵם עוֹלָם מָלֵא.‏
    • Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 4:9:1
    • Translation:
      • For anybody who destroys a single life it is counted as if he destroyed an entire world, and for anybody who preserves a single life it is counted as if he preserved an entire world.
    • Variants:
      • המאבד נפש אחת מישראל מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו איבד עולם מלא וכל המקיים נפש אחת מישראל מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו קיים עולם מלא
        • Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 37a:13
        • Translation:
          • With regard to anyone who destroys one soul from the Jewish people, i.e., kills one Jew, the verse ascribes him blame as if he destroyed an entire world, as Adam was one person, from whom the population of an entire world came forth. And conversely, anyone who sustains one soul from the Jewish people, the verse ascribes him credit as if he sustained an entire world.
          • Comments:
            • In some translations, the phrase "destroys a single life in Israel"[2] is used.
      • הַמְאַבֵּד נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ אִבֵּד עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וְכָל הַמְקַיֵּם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ קִיֵּם עוֹלָם מָלֵא.‏
        • Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
        • Translation:
          • With regard to anyone who destroys one soul from the Jewish people, i.e., kills one Jew, the verse ascribes him blame as if he destroyed an entire world, as Adam was one person, from whom the population of an entire world came forth. And conversely, anyone who sustains one soul from the Jewish people, the verse ascribes him credit as if he sustained an entire world.
      • Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.
      • That is why We ordained for the Children of Israel that whoever takes a life—unless as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land—it will be as if they killed all of humanity; and whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity.
      • Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.
      • He who saves a single life saves the world entire.

The Golden Rule

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"That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation." (Shabbat 31a:6)
  • דַּעֲלָךְ סְנֵי לְחַבְרָךְ לָא תַּעֲבֵיד — זוֹ הִיא כׇּל הַתּוֹרָה כּוּלָּהּ, וְאִידַּךְ פֵּירוּשַׁהּ הוּא, זִיל גְּמוֹר.‏
  • גַּיְּירֵנִי עַל מְנָת שֶׁתְּלַמְּדֵנִי כׇּל הַתּוֹרָה כּוּלָּהּ כְּשֶׁאֲנִי עוֹמֵד עַל רֶגֶל אַחַת!‏

Majority rule

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  • חזר ואמר להם אם הלכה כמותי מן השמים יוכיחו יצאתה בת קול ואמרה מה לכם אצל ר״א שהלכה כמותו בכ״מ עמד רבי יהושע על רגליו ואמר (דברים ל, יב) לא בשמים היא מאי לא בשמים היא אמר רבי ירמיה שכבר נתנה תורה מהר סיני אין אנו משגיחין בבת קול שכבר כתבת בהר סיני בתורה (שמות כג, ב) אחרי רבים להטות אשכחיה רבי נתן לאליהו א״ל מאי עביד קוב״ה בההיא שעתא א״ל קא חייך ואמר נצחוני בני נצחוני בני
    • Bava Metzia 59b:4–5
    • Translation:
      • Rabbi Eliezer then said to them: If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, Heaven will prove it. A Divine Voice emerged from Heaven and said: Why are you differing with Rabbi Eliezer, as the halakha is in accordance with his opinion in every place that he expresses an opinion? Rabbi Yehoshua stood on his feet and said: It is written: "It is not in heaven" (Deuteronomy 30:12). The Gemara asks: What is the relevance of the phrase "It is not in heaven" in this context? Rabbi Yirmeya says: Since the Torah was already given at Mount Sinai, we do not regard a Divine Voice, as You already wrote at Mount Sinai, in the Torah: "After a majority to incline" (Exodus 23:2). Since the majority of Rabbis disagreed with Rabbi Eliezer's opinion, the halakha is not ruled in accordance with his opinion. The Gemara relates: Years after, Rabbi Natan encountered Elijah the prophet and said to him: What did the Holy One, Blessed be He, do at that time, when Rabbi Yehoshua issued his declaration? Elijah said to him: The Holy One, Blessed be He, smiled and said: My children have triumphed over Me; My children have triumphed over Me.

Observance

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  • בְּנִי, הִזָּהֵר בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים יוֹתֵר מִדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה. שֶׁדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה יֵשׁ בָּהֶן עֲשֵׂה וְלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה. וְדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים — כׇּל הָעוֹבֵר עַל דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים חַיָּיב מִיתָה.‏
    • Eruvin 21b:8
    • Translation:
      • My son, be careful to fulfill the words of the Sages [soferim] even more than the words of the Torah. For the words of the Torah include positive and negative commandments, and even with regard to the negative commandments, the violation of many of them is punishable only by lashes. Whereas with respect to the words of the Sages, anyone who transgresses the words of the Sages is liable to receive the death penalty, as it is stated: "And whoever breaches through a hedge, a snake shall bite him" (Ecclesiastes 10:8), taking hedges to refer metaphorically to decrees.
  • תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: נֶאֱמַר: ״כַּבֵּד אֶת אָבִיךָ וְאֶת אִמֶּךָ״, וְנֶאֱמַר: ״כַּבֵּד אֶת ה׳ מֵהוֹנֶךָ״, הִשְׁוָה הַכָּתוּב כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם לִכְבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם. נֶאֱמַר: ״אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ״, וְנֶאֱמַר: ״אֶת ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא וְאֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד״, הִשְׁוָה הַכָּתוּב מוֹרָאַת אָב וָאֵם לְמוֹרָאַת הַמָּקוֹם. נֶאֱמַר: ״מְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מוֹת יוּמָת״, וְנֶאֱמַר: ״אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי יְקַלֵּל אֱלֹהָיו וְנָשָׂא חֶטְאוֹ״, הִשְׁוָה הַכָּתוּב בִּרְכַּת אָב וָאֵם לְבִרְכַּת הַמָּקוֹם.‏
    • Kiddushin 30b:18–20
    • Translations:
      • The Sages taught that it is stated: "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:11), and it is stated: "Honor the Lord with your wealth" (Proverbs 3:9). In this manner, the verse equates the honor of one's father and mother to the honor of the Omnipresent, as the term "honor" is used in both cases. Similarly, it is stated: "A man shall fear his mother and his father" (Leviticus 19:3), and it is stated: "You shall fear the Lord your God and Him you shall serve" (Deuteronomy 6:13). The verse equates the fear of one's father and mother to the fear of the Omnipresent. Likewise, it is stated: "He who curses his father or his mother shall be put to death" (Exodus 21:17), and it is stated: "Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin" (Leviticus 24:15). The verse equates the blessing, a euphemism for cursing, of one's father and mother to the blessing of the Omnipresent.
      • Our Rabbis taught: It says, "Honour your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12), and it says, "Honor God with your wealth" (Proverbs 3:9). By using the same terminology, the Torah compares the honour you owe your father and mother to the honour you have to give to the Almighty. It also says, "Every person must respect his mother and his father" (Leviticus 19:3), and it says, "God your Lord you shall respect, Him you shall serve" (Deuteronomy 10:20). Here the same word, respect, is used. The Torah equates the respect you owe your parents with the respect you must show God. Furthermore it says, "Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death" (Exodus 21:17). And furthermore it says, "Anyone that curses God shall bear his sin" (Leviticus 24.–15). By using the same terms the Torah compares cursing of parents with cursing the Almighty.[citation needed]
  • כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לְטָהֵר אֶת הַטָּמֵא כָּךְ אָסוּר לְטַמֵּא אֶת הַטָּהוֹר.‏
    • Jerusalem Talmud, Terumot 5:3:5
    • Translations:
      • Just as it is forbidden to declare the impure as pure, so it is forbidden to declare the pure as impure.
      • Just as it is forbidden to permit that which is prohibited, so it is forbidden to prohibit that which is permitted.
        • Lewis Browne: The Wisdom of Israel: An Anthology (1945), p. 232

Marriage

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Main article: Talmud on marriage
 
"One should always be willing to sell all he has in order to marry the daughter of a Torah scholar and in order to marry off his daughter to a Torah scholar." (Pesachim 49a:22)
  • לְעוֹלָם יִמְכּוֹר אָדָם כׇּל מַה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ וְיִשָּׂא בַּת תַּלְמִיד חָכָם, וְיַשִּׂיא בִּתּוֹ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם

Money

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  • לעולם ישליש אדם את מעותיו שליש בקרקע ושליש בפרקמטיא ושליש תחת ידו
    • Bava Metzia 42a:3
    • Translations:
      • A person should always divide his money into three; he should bury one-third in the ground, and invest one-third in business [bifrakmatya], and keep one-third in his possession.
      • Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep by him in reserve.[citation needed]
  • לֵיהּ מִידֵּי בְּקַשִּׁישׁוּתָא תַּלְיָא מִילְּתָא בְּטַעְמָא תַּלְיָא מִילְּתָא וְטַעְמָא מַאי זִיל

Noahide laws

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"The descendants of Noah, i.e., all of humanity, were commanded to observe seven mitzvot." (Sanhedrin 56a:24)
  • תנו רבנן שבע מצות נצטוו בני נח דינין וברכת השם ע״ז גילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים וגזל ואבר מן החי
    • Sanhedrin 56a:24
    • Translation:
      • The descendants of Noah, i.e., all of humanity, were commanded to observe seven mitzvot: The mitzva of establishing courts of judgment; and the prohibition against blessing, i.e., cursing, the name of God; and the prohibition of idol worship; and the prohibition against forbidden sexual relations; and the prohibition of bloodshed; and the prohibition of robbery; and the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal.
    • Comments:
      • These seven laws are referred to as the Noahide Laws. They are considered to be binding on all of humanity (i.e., all the descendants of Noah).

King

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  • שמסרבין לקטן ואין מסרבין לגדול

Government

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"Even if all the seas would be ink, and the reeds that grow near swamps would be quills, and the heavens would be parchment … all of these are insufficient to write the unquantifiable space of governmental authority." (Shabbat 11a:5)
  • אִם יִהְיוּ כׇּל הַיָּמִים דְּיוֹ, וַאֲגַמִּים קוּלְמוֹסִים, וְשָׁמַיִם יְרִיעוֹת, וְכׇל בְּנֵי אָדָם לַבְלָרִין — אֵין מַסְפִּיקִים לִכְתּוֹב חֲלָלָהּ שֶׁל רְשׁוּת.‏
    • Shabbat 11a:5
    • Translation:
      • Even if all the seas would be ink, and the reeds that grow near swamps would be quills, and the heavens would be parchment upon which the words would be written, and all the people would be scribes; all of these are insufficient to write the unquantifiable space of governmental authority, i.e., all the considerations with which a government must concern itself and deal.

Justice

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  • אֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּסְקָלִין, הַבָּא עַל הָאֵם, וְעַל אֵשֶׁת הָאָב, וְעַל הַכַּלָּה, וְעַל הַזְּכוּר, וְעַל הַבְּהֵמָה, וְהָאִשָּׁה הַמְבִיאָה אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה, וְהַמְגַדֵּף, וְהָעוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, וְהַנּוֹתֵן מִזַּרְעוֹ לַמֹּלֶךְ, וּבַעַל אוֹב וְיִדְּעוֹנִי, וְהַמְחַלֵּל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת, וְהַמְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, וְהַבָּא עַל נַעֲרָה הַמְאֹרָסָה, וְהַמֵּסִית, וְהַמַּדִּיחַ, וְהַמְכַשֵּׁף, וּבֵן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה. הַבָּא עַל הָאֵם, חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם אֵם וּמִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָב. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם הָאֵם בִּלְבָד. הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת אָב חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָב וּמִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ, בֵּין בְּחַיֵּי אָבִיו בֵּין לְאַחַר מִיתַת אָבִיו, בֵּין מִן הָאֵרוּסִין בֵּין מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין. הַבָּא עַל כַּלָּתוֹ, חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם כַּלָּתוֹ וּמִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ, בֵּין בְּחַיֵּי בְנוֹ בֵּין לְאַחַר מִיתַת בְּנוֹ, בֵּין מִן הָאֵרוּסִין בֵּין מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין. הַבָּא עַל הַזְּכוּר וְעַל הַבְּהֵמָה, וְהָאִשָּׁה הַמְבִיאָה אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה, אִם אָדָם חָטָא, בְּהֵמָה מֶה חָטָאת, אֶלָּא לְפִי שֶׁבָּאת לָאָדָם תַּקָּלָה עַל יָדָהּ, לְפִיכָךְ אָמַר הַכָּתוּב תִּסָּקֵל. דָּבָר אַחֵר, שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא בְּהֵמָה עוֹבֶרֶת בַּשּׁוּק וְיֹאמְרוּ זוֹ הִיא שֶׁנִּסְקַל פְּלוֹנִי עַל יָדָהּ:
    • Mishnah Sanhedrin 7:4
    • Translations:
      • These transgressors are those who are stoned to death: One who engages in intercourse with his mother; or with his father's wife, even if she is not his mother; or with his daughter-in-law; or with a male; or with an animal; and a woman who engages in intercourse with an animal. And one who blasphemes, and one who engages in idol worship. And one who gives of his offspring to Molekh, and a necromancer, and a sorcerer. And one who desecrates Shabbat, and one who curses his father or his mother, and one who engages in intercourse with a betrothed young woman, and an inciter who incites individuals to idol worship, and a subverter who incites an entire city to idol worship, and a warlock, and a stubborn and rebellious son. The mishna elaborates: One who unwittingly engages in intercourse with his mother who is also his father's wife is liable to bring two sin-offerings for his intercourse with her: One due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with one's mother and one due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with one's father's wife. Rabbi Yehuda says: He is liable to bring only one sin-offering, due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with one's mother. One who unwittingly engages in intercourse with his father's wife while his father is married to her is liable to bring two sin-offerings: One due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with one's father's wife and one due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with a married woman. He is liable due to the former prohibition both during his father's lifetime and after his father's death, and whether the relationship between the woman and his father is one of betrothal or one of marriage. Likewise, one who unwittingly engages in intercourse with his daughter-in-law during his son's lifetime is liable to bring two sin-offerings for his intercourse with her: One due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with one's daughter-in-law, and one due to the prohibition against engaging in intercourse with a married woman. The former liability applies both during his son's lifetime and after his son's death, and whether the relationship between the woman and his son is one of betrothal or one of marriage. A man who engages in intercourse with a male or with an animal, and a woman who engages in intercourse with an animal, are executed by stoning. The animal is likewise stoned to death. The mishna asks: If the person sinned by doing this, how did the animal sin? Rather, because a calamity was caused to a person by it, therefore the verse states that it should be stoned, so that it does not cause another to sin. Alternatively, it is so that this animal will not pass through the marketplace, and those who see it will say: This is the animal because of which so-and-so was stoned, and its existence would shame his memory.

Idolatry

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Gentiles

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Main article: Talmud on gentiles
 
"It is a mitzva for a gentile to study the halakhot that pertain to the seven Noahide mitzvot, and when he does so he is highly regarded." (Sanhedrin 59a:5)

Jesus

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Main article: Jesus in the Talmud
  • הוא מסית הוא ורחמנא אמר (דברים יג, ט) לא תחמול ולא תכסה עליו אלא שאני ישו דקרוב למלכות הוה
    • Sanhedrin 43a:21
    • Translation:
      • Was Jesus the Nazarene worthy of conducting a search for a reason to acquit him? He was an inciter to idol worship, and the Merciful One states with regard to an inciter to idol worship: "Neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him" (Deuteronomy 13:9). Rather, Jesus was different, as he had close ties with the government, and the gentile authorities were interested in his acquittal. Consequently, the court gave him every opportunity to clear himself, so that it could not be claimed that he was falsely convicted.
  • אִם רוֹאֶה אָדָם שֶׁיִּצְרוֹ מִתְגַּבֵּר עָלָיו — יֵלֵךְ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין מַכִּירִין אוֹתוֹ, וְיִלְבַּשׁ שְׁחוֹרִים וְיִתְעַטֵּף שְׁחוֹרִים, וְיַעֲשֶׂה מַה שֶּׁלִּבּוֹ חָפֵץ, וְאַל יְחַלֵּל שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא.‏
    • Moed Katan 17a:12
    • Translation:
      • If a person sees that his evil inclination is gaining control over him and he cannot overcome it, then he should go to a place where he is not known. He should wear black, and he should wrap his head in black, as if he were a mourner. Perhaps these changes will influence him, so that he not sin. Even if these actions do not help, he should at least do as his heart desires in private and not desecrate the name of Heaven in public.
  • בָּתַר גַּנָּבָא גְּנוֹב, וְטַעְמָא טְעֵים.‏

Afterlife

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Miscellaneous

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"The Holy One, Blessed be He, exiled Israel among the nations only so that converts would join them." (Pesachim 87b:14)
  • לֹא הִגְלָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבֵין הָאוּמּוֹת אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתּוֹסְפוּ עֲלֵיהֶם גֵּרִים
  • לְעוֹלָם יְהֵא אָדָם רַךְ כְּקָנֶה וְאַל יְהֵא קָשֶׁה כְּאֶרֶז.‏
  • אָמַר לָא בְּסָבֵי טַעְמָא וְלָא בְּדַרְדַּקֵּי עֵצָה.‏
  • יַנְקוּתָא — כְּלִילָא דְּוַורְדָּא, סָבוּתָא — כְּלִילָא דְחִילְפָא.‏
  • לְעוֹלָם תְּהֵא שְׂמֹאל דּוֹחָה וְיָמִין מְקָרֶבֶת
  • עֲשָׂרָה קַבִּים יוֹפִי יָרְדוּ לָעוֹלָם, תִּשְׁעָה נָטְלָה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וְאֶחָד כׇּל הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ.‏
  • לֹא רָאָה שִׂמְחָה מִיָּמָיו. מִי שֶׁלֹּא רָאָה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם בְּתִפְאַרְתָּהּ
  • אֲפִילּוּ בִּשְׁעַת כִּשְׁלוֹנָהּ שֶׁל יְרוּשָׁלָיִם לֹא פָּסְקוּ מִמֶּנָּה אַנְשֵׁי אֲמָנָה
  • וְאֵין יְרוּשָׁלָיִם מִטַּמְּאָה בִּנְגָעִים
    • Yoma 12a:2
    • Translations:
      • The city of Jerusalem does not become ritually impure with the impurity of leprosy, since it belongs to all the Jewish people rather than to a specific tribe.
      • Jerusalem does not become impure through touching; Jerusalem will not be split by the tribes.[citation needed]
  • לָא חָרְבָה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁחִלְּלוּ בָּהּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וּמִשַׁבְּתוֹתַי הֶעְלִימוּ עֵינֵיהֶם וָאֵחַל בְּתוֹכָם״.‏
    • Shabbat 119b:6
    • Translations:
      • Jerusalem was destroyed only because people desecrated the Shabbat in it, as it is stated: "And from My Shabbatot they averted their eyes, and I was profaned among them" (Ezekiel 22:26).
      • Jerusalem was only destroyed because its inhabitants desecrated the Shabbat, they refrained from reciting the Morning and Evening Shema, the children in the Torah day schools wasted their learning time, because they were not shame faced (to sin), because they made the minors equal to the adults, because one did not rebuke another, because they embarrassed Torah Scholars.[citation needed]
  • כׇּל שִׁיטָּה וְשִׁיטָּה שֶׁנָּטְלוּ גּוֹיִם מִירוּשָׁלַיִם, עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהַחֲזִירָן לָהּ
    • Rosh Hashanah 23a:11
    • Translations:
      • Each and every acacia tree that the gentiles took from Jerusalem will be returned to the city by the Holy One, Blessed be He.
      • Each and every acacia tree that the non-Jews removed from Jerusalem, will be restored to it by the Holy One, Blessed be He, in the future.[citation needed]
  • כׇּל הַמִּתְאַבֵּל עַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם — זוֹכֶה וְרוֹאֶה בְּשִׂמְחָתָהּ, וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְאַבֵּל עַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם — אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה בְּשִׂמְחָתָהּ.‏
    • Taanit 30b:4
      • Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will merit and see her future joy, and whoever does not mourn for Jerusalem will not see her future joy.
      • Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will be meritorious and will see its rejoicing and all who do not mourn for Jerusalem will not see its rejoicing.[citation needed]
  • לְעוֹלָם יְהֵא אָדָם עַנְוְותָן כְּהִלֵּל וְאַל יְהֵא קַפְּדָן כְּשַׁמַּאי.‏
  • דאמרי אינשי אסא דקאי ביני חילפי אסא שמיה ואסא קרו ליה
  • הלכה: כְּתִיב לֹא תִקּוֹם וְלֹא תִטּוֹר אֶת בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ. הֵיךְ עֲבִידָה. הֲוָה מְקַטֵּעַ קוֹפָּד וּמְחַת סַכִּינָא לְיָדוֹי. תַּחֲזוֹר וְתִמְחֵי לְיָדֵיהּ.‏
    • Nedarim 9:4:2
    • Translations:
      • It is written: "You should not take revenge or nurse hatred against your fellow countrymen." How is that? He was cutting meat and the knife fell down on his hand. Should he go and hit his hand?
      • Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand.[citation needed]
  • אָסוּר לִישַׁן בַּבַּיִת יְחִידִי, וְכׇל הַיָּשֵׁן בַּבַּיִת יְחִידִי — אֹחַזְתּוֹ לִילִית.‏

Quotes about the Talmud

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Rabbinic literature

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  • The doctrines of religion are resolved into carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into guiltlessness; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into cleanliness; cleanliness into godliness.
    • Division of Mishna, as translated by Dr. A. S. Bettelheim. Religious zeal leads to cleanliness, cleanliness to purity, purity to godliness, godliness to humility to the fear of sin. Rabbi Pinhasben-Jaïr—Commentary on the lines from the Talmud. See also Talmudde Jerusalem, by Schwab, IV. 16. Commentary on the treatise Schabbath. Schul—Sentences of Proverbes du Talmud et du Midrasch. 463.

Fiction

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  • Abe Petrovsky: Michael, may I tell you a story?
    Mike McDermott: Please.
    Abe Petrovsky: For generations, men in my family have been rabbis. In Israel; before that, in Europe. It was to be my calling. I was quite a prodigy, the pride of my yeshiva. The elders said I had a 40-year-old's understanding of the Midrash by the time I was 12. But by the time I was 13, I knew I could never be a rabbi.
    Mike McDermott: Why not?
    Abe Petrovsky: Because for all I understood of the Talmud, I never saw God there.
    Mike McDermott: You couldn't lie to yourself.
    Abe Petrovsky: I tried. I tried like crazy. I mean, people were counting on me. … My parents were destroyed, devastated by my decision. My father sent me away to New York to live with distant cousins. …
    Mike McDermott: And did your parents get over it?
    Abe Petrovsky: No. I always hoped that I would find some way to change their minds, but they were inconsolable. My father never spoke to me again.

Miscellaneous

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  • Once upon a time, under pressure of censorship, printers would inscribe in the flyleaves of volumes of the Talmud: "Whatever may be written herein about gentiles does not refer to the gentiles of today, but to gentiles of times past." Today, the flyleaves of our books bear a similar inscription, albeit an invisible one: "Whatever may be written herein about Jews does not refer to the Jews of today, but to Jews who lived in other times." So we are able to sit down and study Torah, Talmud, books of ethics, or books of faith without considering their relevance to our lives. Whatever is written there does not apply to us or to our generation, but only to other people, other times. We must expunge from those invisible prologues the notion that the words are written about someone else, about others, about anyone but us. Whether the book is a volume of Torah, a tractate of the Talmud, or a tract of faith, the opposite must be inscribed: "Whatever is written herein refers only to me; is written for me and obligates me. First and foremost, the content is addressed to me."
  • Jews don't read the Bible literally. We read it through the lens of generations of interpretations and acknowledge the evolution of human understanding of God. The Talmudic image of God is vastly different from the image of God presented in the Bible.
  • In the Jewish Quarter [Judengasse] was I born and educated; until my fifteenth year, they tried to beat the Talmud into me. My teachers were inhuman beings [Unmenschen], my colleagues were bad company, inducing me to secret sin; my body was frail, my spirit raw.
  • I was supposed to devote myself only to the Talmud. But the Talmud utterly repelled me, thought I was still a pious Jew-boy [Judenkind]. I wanted to satisfy my craving to be active, to do something: this craving looked for a sphere for itself because none was offered it. I did not want to be a good-for-nothing - and therefore I became a writer.
    • Hess' Diary
  • The Talmud states, it was proved to Elisha that Metatron could not be a second deity by the fact that Metatron received 60 "strokes with fiery rods" to demonstrate that Metatron was not a god, but an angel, and could be punished.
    • Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, Society for Jewish Study (1983). The Journal of Jewish Studies, Volumes 34-35. The Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies. p. 26. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  • Just as Hillel's actions were not based (even in theory) on any reasoned ethical system, so his moral teaching did not take the form of a systematic treatise, but was expressed in aphorisms, which were, no doubt, occasioned by particular circumstances, but have none the less a universal value. This value, indeed, is not for the doubter, who must needs either find a rational basis for morality, or discard it. They appeal to those who accept, as Hillel accepted, the fundamental postulates of Judaism; and their claim to universality rests, therefore, on the extent to which those postulates are in accord with the root facts of human nature. They are interpretative, not speculative. The moral sayings of Hillel recorded in the Talmud are few in number, but they embody with sufficient fulness the point of view which was expressed no less fully in his conduct. They are contained almost exclusively in the first two chapters of the "Ethics of the Fathers."
  • Our rabbinic texts, all in the Bavli, emphasize that Jesus, the new Balaam, does not have a portion in the world to come: his fate is that he must be punished in hell forever, with no chance of redemption—and the same is true for his followers: they better give up any hope of earning eternal life in his succession, as his apostles promise.
  • A person who understands the law but who is far from the love of God is like a bank official who has the keys for the inside of the building but not the key for the front door.
    • Leo Tolstoy's paraphrase of The Talmud, A Calendar of Wisdom, P. Sekirin, trans. (1997), June 15
  • The commandments of God should be followed because of love of God, not because of fear of God.
    • Leo Tolstoy's paraphrase of The Talmud, A Calendar of Wisdom, P. Sekirin, trans. (1997), June 15
  • We have quoted and have usually explained texts from talmudic literature. Such texts have been and still are often used in Israeli politics and often quoted in the Israeli Hebrew press. We have concluded that in the usual English translations of talmudic literature some of the most sensitive passages are usually toned down or falsified – as a result, we have ourselves translated all of the texts from talmudic literature that we have quoted in the book.
  • Quoting the Talmud is almost always more trouble than it's worth. The Talmud is long, complex, and explicitly contradictory, and an honest citation requires a significant amount of context to establish whether the opinion cited is meaningful or relevant to modern Judaism. Legitimate critics of Judaism will typically be able to find citations in a more straightforward source, such as one of the Jewish law codes, Rabbinical responsa, or modern Jewish publications. Critics who rely solely on the Talmud for critical citations often explain their lack of other sources by accusing Judaism of hiding secret, shocking beliefs, whereas in fact Talmudic opinions that are not cited in later literature simply aren't important to later Jewish tradition – just like obscure laws can be discarded if they are never cited in relevant common law sources.
  • Maimonides, the great Jewish theologian and historian, who at one time was almost deified by his countrymen and afterward treated as a heretic, remarks that the more absurd and void of sense the Talmud seems, the more sublime is the secret meaning. This learned man has successfully demonstrated that the Chaldean Magic, the science of Moses and other learned thaumaturgists was wholly based on an extensive knowledge of the various and now forgotten branches of natural science. Thoroughly acquainted with all the resources of the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms, experts in occult chemistry and physics, psychologists as well as physiologists, why wonder that the graduates or adepts instructed in the mysterious sanctuaries of the temples, could perform wonders, which even in our days of enlightenment would appear supernatural? It is an insult to human nature to brand magic and the occult science with the name of imposture. To believe that for so many thousands of years, one-half of mankind practiced deception and fraud on the other half, is equivalent to saying that the human race was composed only of knaves and incurable idiots. Where is the country in which magic was not practised? At what age was it wholly forgotten?
    • H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology (1877), p. 19

References

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  1. File:Torah of Israel.jpg
  2. "Therefore, Adam [from whom all humanity descended] was created singly, to teach us that whoever destroys a single life in Israel is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world and whoever saves a single life in Israel is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world." "The Origins of the Precept 'Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World'", Philologos, Mosaic Magazine. Oct 21, 2016.

See also

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