a collection of religious, doctrinal and legal, traditional teaching of Judaism (initially, transmitted orally). T. [Hebrew: lamad ‘learn’, ‘study’] as a literary work is a record of explanations, commentaries and discussions of learned Jews (rabbis), adopting the Written Law (Torah, in its broad meaning) to a real, specific situation. The oldest part of T. is Mishnah (the work of rabbis called the Tanaites), which contains the main principles of conduct and legal norms of Judaism (Halakha), formulated between the 3rd century BC and the second century AD, written in the Hebrew language (the so-called Mishnaic Hebrew) and finally compiled by Judah the Prince (around 135–220). Mishnah became the basis for discussions and commentaries of the following generations of rabbis, the so-called Amoraim, whilst their statements, together with other threads of the oral tradition (Aggadah) formed the second part of the Talmud the Gemara, written in Aramaic; The Gemara was created in 2 Jewish circles: in Palestine and Babylon, which resulted in the creation of 2 Gemaras and, consequently, 2 T.; the Palestinian version of the T., called the Jerusalem Talmud, completed in the 4th century (it comprised 39 tractates), whilst the Babylonian version (much more extensive, though containing 37 tractates only), called the Babylonian Talmud, was compiled around 500; The Babylonian Talmud became, apart from the Hebrew Bible, the foundations of Judaism.
Sz. Datner, A. Kamieńska Z mądrości Talmudu [From the wisdom of the Talmud], Warsaw 1988;
W. Tyloch Opowieści mędrców Talmudu [Stories of the Talmud Sages], Gdynia 1993;
A. Cohen Talmud [The Talmud], Warsaw 1995.
Der babylonische Talmud, Hrsg. L. Goldschmidt, Bd. 1–9, Berlin 1897–1935.
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