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Talmud Survey. By Rabbi Stanley. Talmud Survey. Welcome to Talmud Survey Why should we as Messianics study Talmud? The Talmud is important to us because it gives us insight into the thinking of the time it was written in. Talmud Survey.

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talmud survey

Talmud Survey

By Rabbi Stanley

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Talmud Survey
  • Welcome to Talmud Survey
  • Why should we as Messianics study Talmud?
  • The Talmud is important to us because it gives us insight into the thinking of the time it was written in.
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Talmud Survey
  • It gives us important historical information as well as a look into the culture of the second temple period.
  • We must understand that not all of the Talmud is beneficial.
  • In other words, some of it is good some of it is not.
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Talmud Survey
  • So which parts are generally good and which parts are not so good?
  • In order to know that we have to understand what the Talmud is.
  • The Talmud is made up of two major parts.
  • The Mishna and the Gamarraw.
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Talmud Survey
  • The Mishna is the Oral Law and the Gamarraw is a commentary on the Mishna.
  • Mishna means repetition as in to study and review
  • Gamarraw means "Completion“ as it is seen to complete the Mishna
  • Now there are parts of the Mishna which date back before Yeshua and those parts are good.
  • Yeshua even quoted from the Mishna
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Talmud Survey
  • So we know it can’t be bad or else He wouldn’t have quoted from it.
  • The Gamarraw was written well after Yeshua’s time here on earth so we should keep it much more under scrutiny
  • The Talmud also helps us know more about the Temple and the Nazerite vow and many details concerning Torah
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Talmud Survey
  • So lets look at the Talmud.
  • First we have to know that there are two Talmud's. The Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud
  • Although we will take a look at the Jerusalem Talmud and how it differs from the Babylonian Talmud, for this class we will be using the Babylonian Talmud
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Talmud Survey
  • Ok lets examine the Mishna
  • The Mishna as 6 sederim (seder) orders or books
  • We’ll look at each one in depth later, but now we’ll just get an overview of each order
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Talmud Survey
  • The first is Zeraim which means "Seeds", it deals with prayers and blessings, tithes and agricultural laws.
  • It has 11 tractates or essays
  • The next is Nashim which means "Women", it concerns marriage and divorce, some forms of oaths and the laws of the Nazerite (7 tractates)
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Talmud Survey
  • The next order is Nezikin which means "Damages“. It deals with civil and criminal law, the functioning of the courts and oaths (10 tractates)
  • The next order is Kodashim which means "Holy things“. It regards sacrificial rites, the Temple, and the dietary laws (11 tractates)
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Talmud Survey
  • Tohorot ("Purities"), pertaining to the laws of purity and impurity, including the impurity of the dead, the laws of ritual purity for the priests (Kohanim), the laws of "family purity" (the menstrual laws) (12 tractates).
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Talmud Survey
  • So lets look in-depth at the first order Zeraim
  • The first tractate is Berakhot (ברכות, Blessings) deals with the rules of blessings prayers, particularly the Shema and the Amidah. and agricultural laws It consists of nine chapters.
  • The Shema is hear oh Israel the lord our god is one G-d.
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Talmud Survey
  • The Shema is chanted and sung in every Orthodox and many Messianic synagogues all over the world
  • The Amidah is a prayer which is the focus of every Jewish prayer service. It is also called HaTefillah, or “The prayer”.
  • You’ll be learning the Shema and the Amidah in the beginning Hebrew course here at the Torah Light Yeshiva
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Talmud Survey
  • Berakhot is the only tractate in Zeraim to have a Gamarraw from both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud.
  • The first three chapters of the tractate address the subject of the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism which is to be said twice per day.
  • It discusses when to say it, how to say it and possible exemptions from the fulfillment of the mitzvah ("commandment").
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Talmud Survey
  • For example: in (Deut. 6:7) "when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
  • The School of Shammai said it should be lying down as the passage indicates. The School of Hillel's view, however, was that one may say it in whatever position is comfortable and this was the view accepted as the Halacha. Halacha means the way to walk
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Talmud Survey
  • Some things in the Talmud may seem like nitpicking or legalistic and sometimes it is.
  • But other times it makes a lot of sense and answers the question what are we supposed to do and how do we do it?
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Talmud Survey
  • The beginning of the second chapter discusses the protocol of exactly how one says the Shema itself. One may choose to read it to your self or say it aloud, so long as ones heart is directed to God. And this really points out that the Jews of the first century did care about heart attitudes towards G-d and it wasn’t just about works.
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Talmud Survey
  • There was also some practicality that was interjected for example
  • As saying the Shema is brief, workers may say it even while “suspended in a tree” or on a scaffold. However, as it would be unsafe, this does not apply to the Amidah. (2:4)
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Talmud Survey
  • So we see through Berakhot as we do through all the Talmud, discussion of various laws.
  • The two main schools of thought were Hillel and Shammai and all throughout the Mishna we see them arguing different topics
  • and then we see who won the argument. Whichever part of the argument won, it was usually put into law
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Talmud Survey
  • It’s very interesting to read the Talmud as we get to see different Rabbis put in their own 2 cents worth
  • we get to hear from Hillel who was certainly an influence on Yeshua and we also get to hear from Shammai who takes a very literal approach to Scripture. I often times find myself agreeing with Shammai
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Talmud Survey
  • Even when he may have lost the argument.
  • We even hear from Hillel’s grandson, Gamiliel. You may remember Gamiliel is the one who taught Paul. Paul was very proud of his being a student of Gamiliel.
  • We get to hear his ideas and opinions.
  • We hear from Rabbi Akiva.
  • Although I don’t like Akiva much because of the way he treated the first Messianics, he does have some great insights from to time.
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Talmud Survey
  • We also hear from Rabbi Judah. He is called the prince and was the compiler of the Mishna.
  • It is in Berakhot where we are also introduced to the the Ge’ullah. The long Benediction that follows the Shema‘ in the morning and the first of the two that follow it in the evening. It is called Ge’ullah (redemption) because the latter part recalls the redemption from Egypt.
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Talmud Survey
  • the Tephillah. It consists of nineteen separate prayers, or Benedictions, the original number being Eighteen, which is why it was called the Shemoneh Esreh. Shemoneh Esreh is Hebrew for the number 18.
  • It is often called the Amidah, because it was said standing. Amidah means standing
However, you will never see it called Amidah in the Mishna.
  • The Tephillah is pre-Christian, and perhaps even pre-Maccabean.
  • We will learn more about the Amidah in another class. There’s quite a lot to know about it.
In Berakhot we also learn about the Kiddush and havdalah
  • the Kiddush is the blessing over the wine (or over the bread) precedes the blessing over the day. One does not need to wash his hands before saying Kiddush but he should wash them after. The towel used to wash one's hands should not be placed on the table, lest it and anything that comes into contact with it be rendered ritually unclean.
  • This is good health practice
Following the meal, all the crumbs in the dining room should be thoroughly swept up, then those involved should wash their hands. Good advice
  • Havdalah is the ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and holidays, and ushers in the new week.
In Judaism, Shabbat ends -- and the new week begins -- at nightfall on Saturday. Havdalah may be recited as soon as three stars are visible in the night sky.
  • On completion of the Shabbat, a special braided Havdalah candle with more than one wick is lit, and a prayer is recited,
Spices, often stored in a decorative spice container, are handed around so that everyone can smell the fragrance. In the Sephardi community, branches of aromatic plants are used for this purpose. After Yom Kippur, a candle is used but not spices.
The next tractate is Pe'ah (פאה, Corner)
  • It’s called that because it deals with the regulations concerning the commandment to leave the corner of one's field for the poor (Leviticus 19:9–10, 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19–22).
Pe'ah basically deals with the rights of the poor in general and about giving. In Hebrew we call charitable giving “Tzedikah”
  • There are 8 chapters in Pe’ah.
Pe'ah also has a lot of practical information. It starts out by saying, you can give as much to the poor as you want beyond the corners of the field. If you want to give more, that’s great it’s a mitzvah equal to studying Torah.
  • But it does give a minimum and that’s really needed in any society
It also looks at the poor themselves. If they are truly poor or just faking it cause they are lazy.
  • In America you can receive benefits just because your lazy. You couldn’t do tat in first century Judaism. You’d get busted and tried for perverting justice
Matter of fact, if America was to follow Talmudic law, we’d be in much better shape then we are now.
  • So we should rethink the decision of the early church fathers and how they chose to throw out the Talmud.
  • That was an error that we are paying for today
One other note on agriculture laws.
  • (Lev 23:14) And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
In the Bible in the King James version, lets remember that where it says “corn” that is a mistranslation. There was no corn in the Middle East!!!
  • The word "corn" appears 102 times in 94 verses in the KJV Bible.
  • Grain is usually the best word to insert there.
An interesting comment was made by R. Moses Alshikh (a sixteenth-century commentator)  
  •  he wrote the following as if it was G-d speaking to get his point across
  • "You shouldn't think that you are giving to the poor person from your own property, or that I have despised him by not giving bread to him as I have given to you.  For he is also my child, just as you are, but his portion is in your produce. 
He was basically building on where the Talmud likedned one who didn’t leave thew corners of his field for the poor, that it was the same as stealing from the poor.
  • Rabbi Rashi also added that you need to leave the Peah in a way that would allow the poor to gather it quickly as so you don’t waste their time. Because their time is as valuable as your own.
That really puts a different perspective then to let them wait because you’re gracious enough to give them charity.
  • It’s kinda hard to swallow that interpretation but he’s right.
Giving tithes and peah is really for us anyway, if we think it’s for them, then we’ve missed a real blessing and I think Rashi had a really good hold on that.
  • That’s all for this class, I hope you’re enjoying your talmudic studies
  • Shalom