The Talmud – A Brief Historical Overview

Leib Tropper is the founder of Kol Yaakov Yeshiva and Torah Center and a key figure in the Jewish community of New York. A strong advocate for lifelong self-betterment through learning, Rabbi Leib Tropper continues to read the Talmud on a daily basis with a group of dedicated colleagues.

The Talmud is a large collection of Jewish laws and doctrines that were written by a group of rabbis before the 8th century, A.D. Having experienced extreme persecution and chaos, the rabbis decided to create a written record of the Oral Torah. Composed in Hebrew, the Mishnah, a concise collection of laws, was completed under the leadership of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

Some years later, the Jerusalem Talmud was created in order to complement the Mishnah with more detailed explanations. This second part is also sometimes known as the Gemara. Together, the Mishnah and the Gemara form the Talmud that exists today, consisting of more than 6,000 pages. The vital information contained in the Talmud is often a point of reference for discussions of Jewish law and ethics. The authoritative version most commonly used today is the Babylonian Talmud, rather than the original Jerusalem Talmud.

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