The Talmud: A Biography by Harry Freedman is a nonfiction book covering the history of the complex text of Rabbinic Judaism. Talmud contains around 2,000,000 words, encompassing 37 volumes and is considered the religious and legal pillar of Judaism, covering such topics as diverse as law, faith, medicine, magic, ethics, sex, humour and prayer.
- 256 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (October 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1472905946
My rating for The Talmud: A Biography— 5
The Talmud: A Biography by Harry Freedman covers many centuries trying to scope how the Talmud, an important text in Judaism, came into existence. The author starts at ancient Jerusalem and Babylon, ending in current times.
It’s amazing to read about the history of the Talmud paralleled that of the Jewish people. During the pogroms and ages which anti-Semitism was a societal and politically accepted, those who seek to destroy the Jews tried also to destroy the Talmud, mainly because they didn’t understand what it was about (ridiculously bringing about the blood-libel scenarios over and over).
The Talmud itself, a philosophical conversation taking place throughout the centuries among Jewish scholars, has become a means to an end itself, with thousands of people around the world studying it. It is believed that the study of the Talmud is important even though no clear answers are found sometimes, but the reasoning and the explanations are goals of scholars.
Even though a knowledge of the Talmud isn’t necessary (I know the bare minimum, if that much), those who have some knowledge of the text will be find the book more enjoyable. I did enjoy reading this book very much, even though I had to struggle through some parts, but I learned a lot.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this book.
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