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The Wisdom Of The Talmud: A Thousand Years of Jewish Thought by Ben Zion Bokser

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By Ben Zion Bokser

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Additional resources for The Wisdom Of The Talmud: A Thousand Years of Jewish Thought (Wisdom Library)

Sample text

After a valiant and costly struggle, Palestine was once again a Roman province, with the claws of the imperialist masters more tightly drawn; and the Jewish people resigned themselves to suffer the oppression of an old tyranny and the new ignominy of defeat. The central fact in the tragic legacy of war and revolution was that the Temple at Jerusalem had been burnt to the ground. For the Temple had functioned as a supreme national shrine in Judaism; its cult of sacrifices was regarded as the principal formula of Jewish worship, and throughout its history it had served as an invaluable symbol of unity and solidarity throughout the Jewish world.

Of course'. 'A curse alight upon you! '"15 p. 27 THE ORAL TORAH AND THE TALMUD All these literary productions of the academies in Palestine and Babylonia from the close of the Biblical canon to the close of the fifth century comprise the supplementary Torah. This includes the various midrashim; the Tosefta; the Mishnah and the Gemara, or, taken together, the Talmud. It has generally been called the Oral Torah because for centuries it was expounded and transmitted orally. Individual students probably employed notes to aid their memories, but none of these compilations were officially edited until a considerably later date.

9 This is not, as has generally been explained, a negative formulation of the Golden Rule in Leviticus 19:18. It is a technique for implementing the Golden Rule, by suggesting a more concrete application of it to the problems of human relations. Mishnah Abot (1:12±14) cites a number of moral maxims in the name of Hillel: "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving mankind and drawing them nigh to WKH7RUDK«,I,Dm not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am for myself only, what am I?

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