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central text of Rabbinic Judaism

The Talmud (תלמוד) is considered an authoritative record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories. It consists of the Mishnah, a record of oral traditions, and the Gemara, which comments upon, interprets and applies these oral traditions. A section of the Mishnah is followed by the Gemara on that section. There are two distinct Gemaras: the Yerushalmi and the Bavli, and two corresponding Talmuds: Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud) and the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud); The word "Talmud", when used without qualification, usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud. Neither Gemara is complete.

See also: Pirkei Avot, a section of the Mishnah.


  • Whoever destroys a soul [of Israel], it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life of Israel, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.
    • Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Yerushalmi Talmud 4:9, Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 37a.
    • Variant: 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.
    • Quoted in Schindler's List as "He who saves the life of one man saves the world entire."
    • Parma Italy, mid-13th century codex; as cited in "The Origins of the Precept "Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World"", Philologos, Mosaic Magazine, Oct, 21 2016.
  • Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.
  • What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow; this is the whole law. All the rest is a commentary to this law; go and learn it.
  • If one has eaten garlic and has acquired a bad odor, he must not eat more garlic because the bad odor is (about him) already.
  • 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.
  • A legal decision depends not on the teacher's age, but on the force of his argument.
  • A man should endeavor to be as pliant as a reed, and never unyielding like the cedar.
  • If your friend calls you a donkey, prepare a saddle for your back.
  • One may decline the request of a lesser person, but one may not decline the request of a great person.

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