Rabbinical Works

Josephus

The historian known to posterity by the Latinized name Josephus was a member of Jerusalem's priestly aristocracy who, at age 30, was taken hostage in the great Jewish revolt against Rome [66-70 CE] & spent the rest of his life in Roman circles as a protégé of three emperors [Vespasian, Titus & Domitian]. His constant need to explain his role in the unsuccessful Jewish uprising that climaxed with the destruction of the Jerusalem temple led him to publish four works [in Greek] that are our prime source for information about events that shaped the history of Jews of the second temple period. Joseph bar Matthew [Greek: Matthias], as Josephus was originally known, was born soon after Caligula became Roman emperor [37/38 CE]. He was one of two sons of a Jewish priest who claimed descent from the Hasmonean family of priests who had won Jewish independence from the Greco-Syrian empire two centuries earlier.

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Social Order Texts

Sacred Days and Seasons 154. Sabbath Rest --- Exodus 20:8-11 155. Covenanters' Sabbath Rules --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Damascus Covenant (CD) 10.17-23 156. Covenanters: No Aid for Animals --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Damascus Covenant (CD) 11.13-14 157. Rabbinic Definition of Work --- Mishna, Shabbath 7.2 158. Postponing the Sabbath --- Mishna, Shabbath 19.1 159. Rabbis: Feed Animals --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 128a 160. Plucking Grain on Sabbath --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 128a 161. Childbirth on the Sabbath ---- Mishna, Shabbath 18.2 162. Life-saving on the Sabbath --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 132a 163. Healing on the Sabbath --- Mishna, Shabbath 22.6 164. Pain on the Sabbath ---- Mishna, Shabbath 14.4 165. Covenanters Imprison Sabbath Violators -- Dead Sea Scrolls, Damascus Covenant (CD) 12.3-6 166. Daily Sacrifice & Passover --- Mishna, Pesachim 5.1 167. The Passover Sacrifice --- Mishna, Pesachim 5.5-7 168. Passover Meal --- Mishna, Pesachim 10.1 Sin & Justice 169. Atonement for Sins --- Mishna, Yoma 8.9 170. Life or Death? --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 32a 171. Composition of a Court --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 1.6 172. Cases for the Supreme Court --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 1.5 173. Capital & Non-capital Cases --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 4.1 174. Court Protocol --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 4.3 175. Warning to Witnesses --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 4.5 176. Offenders Sentenced to Stoning --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 7.4 177. What constitutes Blasphemy? --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 7.5 178. Sabbath Violators Stoned ---- Mishna, Sanhedrin 7.8 179. Hidden Witnesses --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 7.10 180. Prelude to Stoning --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 6.1-2 181. Stoning & Hanging --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 6.4 182. Parable of the Twins --- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 46b 183. Death by Strangulation --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 11.1 184. The Rebellious Elder --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 11.4 185. The False Prophet --- Mishna, Sanhedrin 11.5-6 186. Executions Suspended --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 37b Jesus & Christians 187. Testimonium Flavianum --- Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64 188. Jews Expelled from Rome --- Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars 5.25 189. Nero Persecutes Christians in Rome --- Tacitus, Annals 15.44 190. A Rabbinic View of Jesus' Execution --- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a 191. Jesus' Age --- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 106b 192. Eliezer's Lament --- Mishnah, Sota 9.15 193. A Rabbi Arrested for 'Heresy' --- Babylonian Talmud, Aboda Zara 16b-17a 194. Healing in Jesus' Name Forbidden --- Tosefta, cHullin 2.22-23

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List of Ancient Rabbis

Simeon the Just 140 BCE high priest ; Simeon ben Shetach 80-50 BCE led Pharisees to power ; cHoni the Circle-drawer 60-50 BCE wonder-worker ; Abtalion 60-30 BCE taught 7 ; Shemaiah 50-30 BCE taught 7 ; Shammai 40 BCE- rigorist ; 20 CE rival of 7 ; HILLEL (the elder) 30 BCE- forms middoth ; 20 CE school prevails ; Hilkiah 20-10 BCE wonder-worker ; Hanan ha Nechba 20-10 BCE wonder-worker ; Gamaliel I 30-50 CE (grand)son of 7 ; JOHANAN ben ZAKKAI 50-80 CE reforms Academy ; cHanina ben Dosa 40-70 CE wonder-worker ; Nechonia ben HaQana ? taught 25 ; Eliezer ben Jacob 50-80 CE expert on Temple ; tZadok 50-80 CE leader during War ; Eliezer (ben Hyrcanus) 70-100 CE brother-in-law of 17 taught 27 ; Joshua (ben cHananiah) 70-100 CE opponent of 16 ; Dosa ben Harkinas ? ; Gamaliel II 90-110 CE grandson of 10 ; José the Priest 90-110 CE colleague of 19 ; Eleazar ben 'Atzariah replaced 19 ; Eleazar ben 'Arak 90-110 CE ; Simeon ha Pakoli 80-100 CE formed 18 benedictions ; Samuel the Small 80-100 CE revised 12th benediction ; Ishmael (ben Elisha) 90-135 CE began Midrashim mystical exegete ; Eleazar ben Dama ? opposed by 25 ; AQIBA (ben Joseph) 90-135 CE formed HB canon began Mishna mystical exegete supported bar Kochba ; cHanania ben Teradion 100-135 CE martyred with 27 ; (Simeon) ben 'Azzai 90-125 CE mystic ; (Simeon) ben Zoma 90-125 CE mystic ; Elisha ben Abuyah 90-135 CE mystic, apostate ; Eleazar of Modi'im 100-135 CE executed by bar Kochba ; Simeon ben Gamaliel II 135-150 CE moved Academy to Galilee ; MEIR 130-160 CE expanded Mishna haggadist ; Judah (ben El'ai) 130-160 CE expert in halakah ; Simeon (ben Jochai) 125-150 CE noted haggadist survived Hadrianic war ; José (ben Halaphta) 135-160 CE fixed chronology ; Eleazar (ben Shammua') 135-160 CE from Alexandria ; Joshua ben Karcha 135-160 CE colleague of 37 ; Nathan (ha Babli) 140-180 CE source of ARN ? ; JUDAH ha NASI 160-200 CE son of 33; called "Rabbi" completed Mishna ; Simeon ben Eleazar 160-200 CE debated with 41 ; Jacob 160-200 CE grandson of 31 ; Gamaliel III 190-220 CE successor of 41 ; cHiyya (bar Abba) 180-230 CE compiled Tosefta ; (Eleazar) bar Kappara 180-220 CE associate of 44 ; cHanina (bar Hama) 220-260 CE head of Academy ; Jannai 210-250 CE rival of 47 ; Joshua ben Levi 220-250 CE noted haggadist ; Jonathan (ben Eleazar) 220-260 CE colleague of 47 ; ABBA (Arika) 210-250 CE nephew of 45 called "Rab"; began Babylonian Gemara ; Shila 210-240 CE school rivaled 51 ; Samuel (bar Abba) 220-260 CE lawyer & scientist ; JOHANAN (bar Nappacha) 220-280 CE began Palestinian Gemara ; Simeon ben Lakish 230-270 CE brother-in-law of 54 ; Alexandri 240-270 CE prime tradant of 49 ; Simlai 240-280 CE from Babylon ; JUDAH (bar Ezekiel) 260-299 CE school rivaled 52 ; Samuel ben Nachmani 260-310 CE haggadist ; Eleazar (ben Pedath) 260-280 CE replaced 54 ; Jannai ben Ishmael 280-300 CE ; Ulla bar Ishmael 280-320 CE from Israel ; Joseph (bar cHiyya) 300-340 CE edited Tagummim ; Jeremiah 320-350 CE from Babylon ; Hillel II 330-365 CE great-great- grandson of 44 ; Acha bar Jacob 320-350 CE ; Idith bar Abin 310-350 CE critic of mystics ; Nachman ben Isaac 330-360 CE ;

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Persona in Rabbinic Tradition

Rabbis. Abba Arika Gamaliel I Jeremiah Samuel bar Abba Abtalion _______ II Johanan bar Nappacha ______ the Small Acha bar Jacob _______ III ________ ben Zakkai ______ ben Nachmani Alexandri Jonathan ben Eleazar Shammai Aqiba ben Joseph Hanan ha Nechba José ben Halaphta Shemaiah cHanania ben Teradion ____ the Priest Shila Dosa ben Harkinas cHanina bar Hama Joseph bar cHiyya Simeon ben 'Azzai _______ ben Dosa Joshua ben cHananiah ______ ben Eleazar Eleazar ben 'Arak Hilkiah ______ ben Karcha ______ ben Gamaliel ______ ben 'Atzariah Hillel (the Elder) ______ ben Levi ______ the Just ______ ben Dama ____ II Judah ben El'ai ______ ben Lakish ______ bar Kappara cHiyya bar Abba _____ bar Ezekiel ______ ha Pakoli ______ of Modi'im cHoni the Circle-drawer _____ ha Nasi ______ ben Shetach ______ ben Pedath ______ ben Jochai ______ ben Shammua' Idith bar Abin Meir ______ ben Zoma Eliezer ben Hyrcanus Ishmael ben Elisha Simlai ______ ben Jacob Jacob Nachman ben Isaac Elisha ben Abuyah Jannai Nathan ha Babli Ulla bar Ishmael _____ ben Ishmael Nechonia ben HaQana tZadok

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Talmudic Tractates

The Mishna & later rabbinic collections & commentaries on oral Torah [talmudim & tosefta] are arranged in six general "orders" [sedarim], each of which contains several named tractates [massektoth] reporting tannaitic traditions vaguely related to a central theme. The bulk of the traditions recorded in the Mishna have to do with rules of behavior [halakah]. But these are frequently interspersed with other types of sayings, anecdotes & traditional lore ['aggada]. The only tractate in the Mishna that is devoted entirely to transmitting non-legal opinions is Pirqe Aboth ["Sayings of the Fathers"], which catalogs the wisdom sayings of rabbinic sages, including several of the 2nd temple period. Aboth was probably composed before & originally published independently of the Mishna, since it does not fit well in its current location in Neziqin, the order of tractates concerned with civil & criminal law. Pericopes in this sourcebook were excerpted from the following 25 tractates. This catalog covers over a third of the 63 tractates in standard editions of the Mishna & Talmud.

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Talmudic Tractates

Zera'im ["Seeds"] Agriculture Berakoth ["Blessings"] Prayer Mo'ed ["Festivals"] Calendar & Ritual Shabbath ["Sabbath"] Sabbath observance Erubin ["Blendings"] Resolution of problems Pesachim ["Passovers"] Passover observance Yoma ["Day (of Atonement)"] Yom Kippur Rosh HaShanah ["New Year's Day"] Calendar calculations Ta'anith ["Fasting"] Occasions for fasts cHagigah ["Festival offering"] Pilgrimage feasts Nashim ["Women"] Marriage Yebamoth ["Sisters-in-Law"] Kinship & Engagements Nedarim ["Vows"] Oaths & Annulments Gittin ["Divorces"] Divorce & remarriage Sota ["Adultress"] Infidelity Kiddushin ["Marrying"] Acquiring a wife Neziqin ["Damages"] Civil & Criminal Law Baba Metzia ["Middle Gate"] Property law Sanhedrin ["Council"] Criminal law Aboda Zara ["Alien Worship"] Idolatry Aboth ["(Sayings of the) Fathers"] Wisdom sayings Qodashim ["Holy things"] Sacrifices & offerings Menachoth ["Grain Offerings"] Cereal sacrifices cHullin ["Common things"] Non-kosher animals Toharoth ["Purities"] Defilement Kelim ["Containers"] Household objects Nega'im ["Plagues"] Leprosy Parah ["(Red) Heifer"] Ritual of purification Toharoth ["Purities"] Temporary defilement Niddah ["Isolation"] Menstruation

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Pirqe Aboth

Hebrew: "Sayings of the Fathers" The only tractate in the Mishna that is devoted entirely to transmitting non-legal opinions. Aboth catalogs the wisdom sayings of rabbinic sages, including several of the 2nd temple period, without providing any connecting narrative frame. It was probably composed before & originally published independently of the Mishna, since it does not fit well in its current location in Neziqin, the order of tractates concerned with civil & criminal law. It is the only Mishna tractate that has no later commentary in the Talmud.

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Religious Parties in Ancient Rabbinism

Texts. Judean-Samaritan Feud 56. Assyrians Occupy Samaria [722 BCE] --- 1 Kings 17:5-6, 24-34 57. Why Jews Exclude Samaritans --- Kuthim 2.7 58. Samaritan Temple --- Josephus, Antiquities 11.342-346 59. Temple Rivalry --- Josephus, Antiquities 13.74, 77-79 60. Samaritans Desecrate Judean Temple -- Josephus, Antiquities 18.29-30 61. Murdered Galilean Avenged ---- Josephus, Jewish War 2.232-237 Pharisees & Sadducees 62. Three Jewish Sects --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.119 63. Argument over Oral Torah --- Josephus, Antiquities 12.297-298 64. Principles & Popularity of Pharisees --- Josephus, Antiquities 18.12-15 65. Sadducees differ from Pharisees --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.164-166 66. Rabbinic Lament over Sadducean Brutality --- Tosefta, Menachoth 13.21 67. Tradition of the Elders --- Mishna, Aboth 1.1 68. Standards for Disciples --- Mishna (supplement), Aboth de R. Nathan A 3 69. Hillel justifies Oral Tradition --- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 31a 70. The Yoke of Torah --- Mishna, Aboth 3.5 71. Deviants from Torah Rejected --- Mishna, Aboth 3.12 72. Saying & Doing --- Tosefta, Parah 4.7 73. Torah & Propagation --- Tosefta, Yebamoth 8.7 74. Seven Types of Pharisees --- Babylonian Talmud (supplement), Aboth d Rabbi Nathan 37.4 75. False Pharisees --- Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 22b Essenes & Dead Sea Scrolls 76. Essenes are Rural Poor --- Philo, Every Good Man is Free 12.75-77 77. Dead Sea Settlement of Essenes --- Pliny, Natural History 5.15.73 78. Some Essenes Marry --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.160 79. Essene Monastic Rules --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.120-126, 135-147 80. Communal Property at Qumran --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 1.11-13 81. Deviants from Torah Excommunicated --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 8.21-23 82. Directions for the Instructor --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 9.12-16 83. Essene Worship & Communal Meal --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.128-133 84. Communal Order at Qumran --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 6.2-5 85. Council of Twelve --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 8.1-4 Initiations: Baptism & Unity 86. Essene Initiation --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.137-142 87. The Qumran Covenant --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 1.1-11 88. Purification of Initiates at Qumran --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 3.6-12 89. Ultimate Agent of the Holy Spirit --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 4.18-23 90. Two Spirits --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 3.15-21 91. Rabbinic Proselyte Baptism --- Talmud (appendix), Gerim 1.1-5 92. Proselytes likened to Israel --- Talmud (appendix), Gerim 4.3 93. Christian Baptism --- Paul, Galatians 3.26-28 94. Christian Unity --- Paul (?), Ephesians 4.4-7, 13

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Food and Fellowship Texts

Writings of the Rabbi's: Where Two or Three are Gathered, Daily Bread, Blessing the Meal, Blessing Wine & Bread, The Way of Torah, Price of Loose Discipline, Aqiba's Cautions, Frequent Feasting, Preparing for the Real Banquet, One who Serves.

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Sin and Justice Texts

Writing of the Rabbi's: Atonement for Sins, Life or Death?, Composition of a Court, Cases for the Supreme Court, Capital & Non-capital Cases, Court Protocol, Warning to Witnesses, Offenders Sentenced to Stoning, What constitutes Blasphemy?, Sabbath Violators Stoned, Hidden Witnesses, Prelude to Stoning, Stoning & Hanging, Parable of the Twins, Death by Strangulation, The Rebellious Elder, The False Prophet, Executions Suspended.

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Purity and Social Relations Texts

An Unclean Cup, What Defiles?, Whose House is Dirty?, Tax Collectors Visit, A Leper's Visit, Passing Lepers, Sin causes Sickness, Gentiles & Heretics, Who profanes?, Other Interpretations of Torah, Disciples of Abraham and Balaam, Who is Hostile?, Against Trusting Secular Types, Kosher Marriage, A Woman with Child, Reason for Divorce, Letter of Divorce

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Rabbinic Wisdom Texts

Mishnaic writings, Hillel, Shammai and others.

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Tannaim

Term used to designate rabbinic scholars of the first two centuries CE. Prior to definitive publication of the Mishna, rabbinic tradition had been transmitted primarily orally, with a heavy emphasis on memorization of precepts formulated by eminent Jewish sages of previous generations. The tanna committed to memory the opinions not only of his own teacher(s) but of other rabbinic sages whose decisions were regarded as worthy of respect. These traditions were rehearsed in teaching students and in debate with other scholars over issues of common concern. A tanna's scholarly reputation depended to a large measure not only on the scope & accuracy of his memory, but on his ability to invoke elements of accepted tradition to resolve disputed questions and problems raised by new situations. The school of Hillel, which dominated the rabbinic Academy after the Romans terminated the institutions that had governed Jewish life during the 2nd temple period, tended to recall materials that illustrated the acumen of their founder [Hillel], his disciples [Johanan ben Zakkai in particular] & the circle of scholars closest to those who claimed descent from him [especially Judah ha Nasi]. Thus, the tannaim were not only the conservers of the oral Torah of the Pharisees; in recalling & interpreting the vast body of aphoristic rabbinic tradition, they developed the intellectual tools & authoritative rabbinic texts that became normative for later generations of Jews. Their precepts are not limited to those codified in the Mishna, Tosefta & biblical Midrashim but continued to circulate orally among the generations of scholars that composed the Talmud.

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Apocalyptic Speculation Quotes

A Human's Cosmic Status, The Last Judgment, The Ultimate Champion, Enoch's Vision, Ascension of Enoch, Revelation of the Primal Human, The First Scribe, Enoch Taken by God, Enoch Enthroned, Transformation of Enoch, Esoteric Speculation Restricted, Proper Interpretation, Dangers of Speculation, Aqiba's Ascent, Elisha ben Abuyah's Apostasy, Replying to Heretics, Israel's Guardian Angel

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Targum and Midrash Texts

The Word of the Lord Creates, The Word as Light, The Son of Man as Divine Image, The Temptation, The Father of Cain, Eden & Gehinnom, Cain & Abel Quarrel, Jacob's Dream, Ascending & Descending, Image on the Divine Throne, Hidden & Revealed, Footsteps of the Messiah, The Kingdom of God, The Voice of the Word, The Tent of Meeting, Ascent of Moses & Descent of Jonah, The Daily Measure, Bread from Heaven, The Ultimate Revival, The King's Banquet

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Midrash

Hebrew term for "Interpretation" or "Exposition." The word generally used for any written or oral commentary on a biblical text. The original purpose of midrash was to resolve problems in the Hebrew text of the Bible. As early as the 1st c. CE rabbinic principles of hermeneutics & philology were used to bring the interpretation of difficult passages in the literal text of scripture into line with the religious & ethical values of the teachers. This method of interpretation was eventually expanded to provide scriptural pretexts to justify oral tradition. Thus, midrash exposes the values & worldview of the rabbinic interpreter & audience rather than the original intention of the author of the biblical text. There are two types of midrashim: halakhic midrash [focusing on the legal implications of a biblical passage] & haggadic midrash [non-legal expositions designed for general edification]. Haggadic midrashim may, like later commentaries, follow the narrative of a biblical text or they may be composed as homilies, following the lectionary cycle of the synagogue. The literary production of rabbinic midrashim began during the period of the formation of the Mishna [2nd c. CE].

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Tractates

The Mishna & later rabbinic collections & commentaries on oral Torah [talmudim & tosefta] are arranged in six general "orders" [sedarim], each of which contains several named tractates [massektoth] reporting tannaitic traditions vaguely related to a central theme. The bulk of the traditions recorded in the Mishna have to do with rules of behavior [halakah]. But these are frequently interspersed with other types of sayings, anecdotes & traditional lore ['aggada]. The only tractate in the Mishna that is devoted entirely to transmitting non-legal opinions is Pirqe Aboth ["Sayings of the Fathers"], which catalogs the wisdom sayings of rabbinic sages, including several of the 2nd temple period. Aboth was probably composed before & originally published independently of the Mishna, since it does not fit well in its current location in Neziqin, the order of tractates concerned with civil & criminal law.

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Rabbinic Academy

Since the Pharisees lacked a central authority, prior to the destruction of the temple there was no fixed form or content to the oral instruction communicated by each rabbi. Yet, during the early 1st c. CE, two schools of interpretation became influential among Judean Pharisees: the school of Shammai & the school of Hillel. After the destruction of Jerusalem [70 CE], Johanan ben Zakkai, the last of Hillel's disciples established an Academy at the Judean seaport of Jabneh (Greek: Jamnia), with the aid of the remnants of the school of Hillel & some Shammaites. Since the former chief institutions of Judean religion, temple & Sanhedrin, were no longer in existence, this rabbinic Academy acted as the supreme authority for the regulation of Jewish life. Yet, recognition of its authority by other Jews was neither immediate nor universal prior to the end of the 1st c. CE.

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Torah

The Hebrew word for "Teaching" or "Instruction." After the Babylonian exile [6th c. BC], the term was used by Jews to designate a written text containing commandments [mitzwoth] of God. By extension, Torah became the collective term for the five scrolls [Greek: Pentateuch] of Hebrew scripture that were traditionally ascribed to Moses. These scrolls were the textbooks for all Jewish education as well as the basic source for Jewish law. Scribes [sopherim] who copied & interpreted these scrolls eventually identified 613 distinct commandments credited to God.

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Exegesis & Eschatology Texts

Rabbinical texts on the study of the Torah and about the future and Messiah. Jewish Scholarship, Targum & Midrash, Messianic Exegesis, New Covenant Eschatology,

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Prayer and Piety Texts

Quotes from the ancient rabbi's

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Pharisees and Sadducees

Josephus, Mishna and Talumdic quotes

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Talmud

Hebrew term for "Learning" or "Study." The word acquired a technical sense among Jews as reference to the collections of discussions & debates among generations of rabbis who studied the Mishna. The core of the Talmud is the text of the Mishna itself. Thus, it retains the Mishna's order of tractates. The supplementary discussions, which add material not found in the Mishna, are called the Gemara ["Completion"]. A rabbi whose opinions are cited in the Gemara but not the Mishna has been traditionally called an amora ["speaker"]. Collectively, these later generations of rabbis are referred to as the amoraim. The Gemara includes a lot of anecdotal material ['aggada] about the early tannaim whose opinions were accepted as authoritative in the Mishna. While obviously legendary & often fanciful these anecdotes represent the genre of ancient Jewish story-telling that is absent from the Mishna. Whatever questions there may be about the value of these reports for reconstructing an accurate historical impression of their subjects, the stories about various rabbinic heroes offer a window into the worldview of ancient Jews that provides a cultural sidelight on early Christian stories about Jesus & his disciples.

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Mishna

The Hebrew term meaning "Repetition." The oral Torah of the Pharisees was not recorded in a set written form before the 2nd c. CE. Instead this body of tradition was preserved primarily through recitation & memorization. Standardization of the form & content of rabbinic tradition became necessary after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem [70 CE]. For the conscious mission of the rabbinic Academy was not only to preserve but to promote the authority of its interpretation of Torah for Jews everywhere. The Pharisaic principle of consensus was invoked to make the Academy's majority opinions the basis of normative Jewish religious observance. To promote further consensus, rulings were codified by topic & committed to memory by regular repetition. Thus, the leading rabbis of the Academy came to be referred to as the tannaim ["repeaters"].

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List of Abbreviations

Used in Reference to Rabbinic Writings by Alfred Edersheim. The Mishnah is always quoted according to Tractate, Chapter (Pereq) and Paragraph (Mishnah), the Chapter being marked in Roman, the paragraph in ordinary Numerals. Thus Ber. ii. 4 means the Mishnic Tractate Berakhoth, second Chapter, fourth Paragraph. The Jerusalem Talmud is distinguished by the abbreviation Jer. before the name of the Tractate. Thus, Jer. Ber. is the Jer. Gemara, or Talmud, of the Tractate Berakhoth. The edition, from which quotations are made, is that commonly used, Krotoschin, 1866, 1 vol. fol. The quotations are made either by Chapter and Paragraph (Jer. Ber. ii. 4), or, in these volumes mostly, by page and column. It ought to be noted that in Rabbinic writings each page is really a double one, distinguished respectively as a and b: a being the page to the left hand of the reader, and b the reverse one (on turning over the page) to the right hand of the reader. But in the Jerusalem Gemara (and in Yalkut [see below], as in all works where the page and column (col.) are mentioned) the quotation is often - in these volumes, mostly - made by page and column (two columns being on each side of a page). Thus, while Jer. Ber. ii. 4 would be Chapter II. Par. 4, the corresponding quotation by page and column would in that instance be, Jer. Ber. 4d; d marking that it is the fourth column in b (or the off-side) of page 4. The Babyl. Talmud is, in all its editions, equally paged, so that a quotation made applies to all editions. It is double-paged, and quoted with the name of the Tractate, the number of the page, and a or b according as one or another side of the page is referred to. The quotations are distinguished from those of the Mishnah by this, that in the Mihnah Roman and ordinary numerals are employed (to mark Chapters and Paragraphs), while in the Babylon Talmud the name of the Tractate is followed by an ordinary numeral, indicating the page, together with a or b, to mark which side of the page is referred to. Thus Ber. 4a means: Tractate Berachoth, p. 4, first or left-hand side of the page.

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Ancient Roman Catapult Picture

A machine for hurling heavy stones. The "catapulta" was one of the three common types of artillery ("tormenta"), used by the Romans in storming a town.

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Taylor-Schechter Genizah

Taylor-Schechter collection of the Cairo Genizah documents. Very early Jewish papyri. [Online Text Archives] [Study Tools] [Collections]

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Kodesh

Hebrew Bible and basic rabbinic texts (Mishna, Tosefta, and Talmuds). You need Hebrew fonts to use this. [Online Text Archives] [Study Tools] [Collections]

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Talmud - Ein Mishpat/Ner Mitzvah

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Torah Or

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Mesoret Ha-Sha"S

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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The Mishnah - A Brief Explaination

The Hebrew root "ShNH" means "to repeat," and refers to memorization by repetition. Mishnah can refer in a general way to the full tradition of the Oral Torah, as formulated by the Rabbis in the first centuries of the Common Era. These traditions could not be written down, but had to be transmitted and learned by word of mouth. [Texts][Rabinnical Works]

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The Gemara (Talmud) - A Brief Explanation

The Gemara (Tamud) both are synonymous and derive from words meaning "study" or "learning." "Talmud" is Hebrew, whereas "Gemara" (in the present sense) is found only in the Aramaic dialect of the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud is composed in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic (which was the spoken vernacular of Babylonian Jews). The Talmud is a commentary on the Mishnah. [Texts][Rabinnical Works]

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Rashi (1040-1105)

A Brief Explaination of Rashi's Commentary on the Talmud. Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (or: Shlomo Yitzhaki) is known by the acronym: RaSh"I[Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Tosafot suppliment to Rashi

A Brief Explaination. The Tosafot were composed by many scholars in different schools throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. The word "Tosafot" translates as "additions" or "supplements." [Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Rabbenu Hananel 990-1050

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Sefer Ha-Mafteah 1020-1050

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Tosafot Yeshanim the 13th century

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Rabbenu Gershom (Mainz Commentary)

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Tosefot RI"D 13th century

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Maimonides' Mishneh Torah

[Codes of law][Rabinnical Works]

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Rabbi Moses of Coucy's Sefer Mitzvot Gadol

[Codes of law][Rabinnical Works]

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Rabbi Jacob ben Asher's Arba'ah Turim

[Codes of law][Rabinnical Works]

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Rabbi Joseph Caro's Shulhan Arukh

[Codes of law][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Page Number

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Tractate Name

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Chapter Number

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Talmud - Chapter Name

[Terms for the Navigation of the Talmud][Rabinnical Works]

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Shittah Mequbbetzet 16th century

[Other Commentaries][Rabinnical Works]

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Classical Resources

Links, organizations, languages, materials, resources, journals and more.

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Summary of the Torah

The Summary of the Torah by Dr. James D. Tabor. Based on Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

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613 Mitzvos

according to Sefer Hamitzvos of Rambam. 248 Positive Mitzvos and 365 Negative Mitzvos.

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The Laws Of The Basic Principles Of The Torah

THE TEXT USED FOR THIS TRANSLATION WAS THE RAMBAM LE'AM, PUBLISHED BY MOSSAD HA'RAV KOOK, JERUSALEM.

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Branches or Subdivisions of Judaism

In broad historical perspective

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Megosearch

This tool is something I use EVERYDAY! I made it so that I could find information fast. Try it and you`ll see what I mean. Just type in a keyword and click on one of the logo buttons. If you have any suggestions for a reference site with a good search engine please let me know.

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The Official U.S. Time

Have you ever wondered what time it is....EXACTLY? Here is a good source with a neat Java program. You can even watch where the sun is coming up. Just click the region you want and there ya go!!!

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The Romans

HTML Version of BKA 40a "The Romans" - Part one. Bible History Online

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The Tanach (Masoretic Text)

Institute of Practical Bible Education with Instructions for Viewing the Hebrew Text.

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Download the Files for Mishnah

Electronic Book Files [Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

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Mishnah Tractate Avot

Ethics Of The Fathers Chapter 1 - 5

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The Hebrew New Testament

To view the text you will need the free Acrobat Reader.

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