Land of Israel and Jewish heritage – 39

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Land of Israel and Jewish heritage

A series from the book written by Naveed Anjum

Jewish Life in the Land of Canaan, cont’d

The Promised Land, cont’d

Late Roman period, cont’d

Later Jewish scholars, the Amoraim, succeeded the Tannaim. Amoraim is the Aramaic plural אמוראים [amoʁa ˈim] of the singular Amora אמורא [amoˈʁa] and means: “those who say,” “those who speak over the people,” or “spokesmen.” The Amoraim were renowned Jewish scholars who “said” or “told over” the teachings of the Oral Torah from around 200 to 500 CE in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. The Amoraim discussed, debated, expounded upon, and clarified the oral law after its initial codification in the Mishnah. They also undertook other subjects and expounded broadly upon the Hebrew Bible. Their written works were eventually codified into the Gemara. The Talmud was created from the Mishnah with the addition of the Gemara.

Talmud in Hebrew is תַּלְמוּד [talmūd] or [ˈtɑːlmʊd, -məd, ˈtæl-] and means “instruction, learning.” It comes from a root, lmd, which means “teach, study.” The Talmud is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism and generally refers to the Babylonian Talmud, although an earlier collection is known as the Jerusalem Talmud. Talmud may be used to mean either the Gemara alone or the Mishnah and Gemara, together. The Talmud is composed of 63 tractates, which, in standard print, encompasses more than 6,200 pages. It actually contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects that include Halakha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and numerous other topics. Thus, the Talmud, basis of all codes of Jewish law, is much quoted in rabbinic literature.

(To be continued…)

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