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During sermons, worshippers will often hear from the rabbi the words, “And the Talmud says…” The Bible may lay down the laws, but the Talmud, comprised of oral law based on ancient practices, provides a guideline for how to apply these laws. However, many of these worshippers may be surprised to learn there was once a struggle between two competing Talmuds after rabbis and Talmudic scholars abandoned the Holy Land to make their way in what came to be known as the land of the Diaspora.
The book explains how these Babylonian scholars created their own interpretation of the Torah that grew to take precedence over the Jerusalem scholars and how these scholars justified ignoring the biblical injunction that Jews must live in the land of Israel as well as their appropriation of religious rule.
It’s a fascinating book, I enjoyed listening to it multiple times. I would recommend this to everyone that’s interested in the history of Judaism.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Saul Mayzlish and Leon H Charney gives an overview of how the two Talmudim, the Bavli and the Yerushalmi, came into existence. For most part it seems to be and excellent overview of these two books.
Furthermore George Guidall does a superb job of reading the book.
I found the prejudice in the latter part of this book towards the Talmud Yerushalmi a bit disappointing. I could not help to suspect an 'religious-political' agenda which sings the praises of the Talmud Yerushalmi over against the Bavli, just because the Yerushalmi propagates a literal an physical return to the country of Israel. It didn't convince me.
What I do appreciate about the book is the interesting tit bits about how the two Talmudim developed. I found it especially interesting that the Yerushalmi only has one extant manuscript in which it is preserved.
Maybe, because I am not Jewish, a lot of this book's significance might have passed me by. It is definitely biased, yet interesting.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful