central text of Rabbinic Judaism
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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.

An early printing of the Talmud with commentary by Rashi

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


  • Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, 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 "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."
    • Quoted Qurʼan Chapter (5) sūrat l-māidah (The Table spread with Food) Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.
    • 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.
  • A man should endeavor to be as pliant as a reed, and never unyielding like the cedar.

Bava MetziaEdit

  • 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.
  • One may decline the request of a lesser person, but one may not decline the request of a great person.

other BavasEdit

  • A legal decision depends not on the teacher's age, but on the force of his argument.
  • If your friend calls you a donkey, prepare a saddle for your back.


  • 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.
  • 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 would be insufficient to write the unquantifiable extent of governmental responsibility -- that is, all the considerations with which a government must concern itself and deal.

Quotes aboutEdit

  • 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? p. 19
    • H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology (1877)

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