Note: Blue highlighting has been applied to the words Elizabeth Dilling underlined in her exhibits. The text is unchanged from the original.
Michael L. Rodkinson: The History of the Talmud
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MODERN WORKS AND MONOGRAPHS ON TALMUDIC SUBJECTS.
(Arranged with reference to subjects and in alphabetical order of authors).
W. Bacher. Die Agada der Tannaiten. Strasburg, Als. 1884; Die Agada der Babylonischen Amoraer. Strasburg, Als., 1878; Die Agada der Palastinischen Amoraer. Strasburg, Als.,1891; Agada der Palastinischen Amorder, published 1896, Vol. II., Die Schueler Jochanan's, and 1899 Vol. III., Die letzten Amorder des heiligen Landes.
S. Back. Die Fabel im Talmud u. Midrasch (in Monats-schrift f. Geschichte u. Wissenschaft d. Judenthums, XXIV., 1875; XXV., 1876; XXIX., 188o; XXX., 1881; XXXIL, 1883; XXXIII, 1884).
M. Granbaum. Beitrage zur vergleichenden Mythologie aus der Haggada (in Zeitschrift d. D. Morgenl. Gesellschaft, vol. XXXI., 1877).
M. Gudemann. Mythenmischung in der Haggada (in Monatsschrift f. Geschichte u. Wissenschaft d. Judenthums, vol. XXV., 1876).
D. Hoffmann. Die Antonius Agadoth im Talmud (in Magazin fur Wissenschaft des Judenthums, vol. XIX., 1892).
Ad. Brull. Trachten der Juden im nachbiblischen Alterthum. Frankf. on the M., 1873.
Franz Delitzsch. Jadisches Handwerkerleben zur Zeit Jesu, Elangen, 187 g. Translated by B. Pick, "Jewish Artisan Life." New York, 1883.
M. H. Friedlander. Die Arbeit nach Bibel u. Talmud. Brann, 1891.
L. Herzfeld. Metrologische Voruntersuchungen, Geld and Gewicht der Juden bis zum Schluss des Talmuds (in Jahrbuch
fur Geschichte der Juden u. des Judenthums, vol. III., pp. 95-191, Leipsic, 1863).
Alex. Kohut. Ist das Schachspiel im Talmud genannt? (Z. d. D. M. G., XLVI., 130-39).
Leopold Low. Graphische Requisiten and Erzeugnisse bei den Juden, Leipsic, 1870-71; Die Lebensalter in der jud. Literatur. Szegedin, 1875.
H. Vogelstein. Die Landwirthschaft in Palestina zur Zeit der Mischna. Berlin, 1894.
B. Zuckerman. Ueber Talmudische Manzen u. Gewichte. Breslau, 1862; Das judische Maassystem. Breslau, 1867; Technologie u. Terminologie der Handverke in der P. Rieger Mischnah. Berlin, 1895.
Sam. Back. Elischa ben Abuja, quellenmassig dargestellt. Frankf. on the M., 1891,
A. Blumenthal. Rabbi Meir, sein Leben u. Wirken. Frankf., 1889.
M. Braunschweiger. Die Lehrer der Mischna, ihr Leben u. Wirken. Frankf. on the M., 1890.
S. Fessler. Mar Samuel, der bedeutendste Amora. Breslau, 1879.
M. Friedlander Geschichtsbilder aus der Zeit der Tanaiten u. Amoraer. Brann, 1879.
S. Gelbhaus. R. Jehuda Hanasi and die Redaction der Mischna. Vienna, 1876.
D. Hoffmann. Mar Samuel, Rector der Academie zu Nahardea. Leipsic, 1873.
M. D. Hoffmann. Biographie des Elischa ben Abuya. Vienna, 1870.
Armand Kaminka. Simon b. Jochai (chapter in the author's Studien zur Geschichte Galilaeas. Berlin, 1890).
Raphael Levy. Un Tanah (Rabbi Mar), Etude sur la vie et l'enseignement d'un docteur Juif du II. siecle. Paris, 1883.
L. Lewin. R. Simon b. Jochai. Frankf. on M., 1893.
M. I. Muhlfelder. Rabh. Ein Lebensbild zur Geschichte des Talmud. Leipsic, 1873.
J. Spitz. Rabban Jochanan b. Sakkai, Rector der Hochschule zu Jabneh. Berlin, 1883.
I. Trenel. Vie de Hillel l'Ancient. Paris, 1867.
H, Zirndorf. Some Women in Israel (pp. 119-270, portraying distinguished women of the Talmudic age). Philadelphia, 1892.
F. Kauter. Beitraege zur Kenntniss des Rechtsystems and der Ethik Mar Samuels. Bern, 1895.
A. Kisch. Hillel der Alte, Lebensbild eines jued. Weisen. Prag., 1889.
CHRONOLOGY AND CALENDAR.
L, M. Lewisohn. Geschichte u. System des jadischen. Kalenderwesens. Leipsic, 1856.
B. Zuckermann. Materialien zur Entwickelung der altjudischen Zeitrechnung. Breslau 1882.
I. M. Cassanowicz. Non-Jewish religious ceremonies in the Talmud (in Proceedings of the American Oriental Society). New York, 1894.
Joseph Perles. Die judische Hachette in nachbiblischer Zeit. Leipsic, 1860. Die Leichenfeierlichkeiten im nachbiblischen Judenthum. Breslau, 1861.
REMARK. — An English translation of both of these two monographs is embodied in "Hebrew Characteristics," published by the American Jewish Publication Society. New York, 1875.
M. Fluegel. Gedanken fiber religiose Brauche and An-schauungen. Cincinnati, 1888.
Aaron Hahn. The Rabbinical Dialectics. A History of Dialecticians and Dialectics of the Mishna and Talmud. Cincinnati, 1879.
Blach-Gudensberg. Das Paedagogische im Talmud. Halberstadt, 1880.
M. Duschak: Sehulgesetzgebung u. Methodik der alten Israeliten. Vienna, 1872.
Sam. Marcus. Zur Schul-Paedagogik des Talmud. Berlin, 1866.
Joseph Simon. L'education et l'instruction d'apres la Bible et le Talmud. Leipsic, 1879.
E. Van Gelden. Die Volkeschule des juedischen Alterthums nach Talmudischen Quellen. Berlin, 1872.
J. Wiesen. Geschichte and Methodik der Schulwesens im talmudischen Alterthum. Strasburg, 1892.
J. Lewit. Darstellung der theoretischen and practischen Paedagogik im juedischen Alterthum. Berlin, 1896. ETHICS.
M. Bloch. Die Ethik der Halacha. Budapest, 1886. Herman Cohen. Die Nachstenliebe im Talmud. Ein Gutachten. Marburg, 1886.
M. Duschak. Die Moral der Evangelien u. des Talmuds. Brunn 1877.
H. B. Fassel. Tugend- and Rechtslehre des Talmud. Vienna, 1848.
M. Lazarus. Die Ethik des Judenthums. Frankfort a. M., 1898. Translated into English. (The Ethics of Judaism), by Henriette Szold, Vol. I. Philadelphia, 1900-01 I.
E. Granebaum. Die Sittenlehre des Judenthums andern Bekentnissen gegenuber. Strasburg, 1878.
M. Gudemann. Nachstenliebe. Vienna, 1890.
Alex. Kohut. The Ethics of the Fathers. A series of lectures. New York, 1885.
L. Lazarus. Zur Charakteristik der talmudischen Ethik. Breslau, 1877.
Marc. Levy. Essai sur la morale de Talmud, Paris, I891. Luzzatto. Israelitische Moraltheologie, deutch von M. Joel. Breslau, 1870.
S. Schaffer. Das Recht and seine Stellung zur Moral nach talmudischer Sitten- and Rechtslehre. Frankf. on the' M., 1889.
N. J. Weinstein, Geschichtliche Entwickelung des Gebotes der Nachstenliebe innerhalb des Judenthums, kritisch beleuchtet. Berlin, 1891.
M. L. Rodkinson. Ahbath Adam ah pe Torah She Bal
peh. In Hebrew — a booklet in the periodical Hakol, Vol. VI. Vienna, 1885. Translated into German as "Nachstenliebe nach den Talmud" in manuscript.
W. Bacher. Exegesis and Bible Criticism. Ein Woerterbuch der bibelexegetischen Kunstsprache der Tannaiten. Leipsic, 1899.
M. Eisenstadt. Ueber Bibelkritik in der talmud. Literatur. Berlin, 1894.
H. S. Hirschfeld. Halachische Exegese. Berlin, 1840; Die Hagadische Exegese. Berlin, 1847.
S. Waldberg. Darke Hashinnuyim, on the methods of artificial interpretation of Scriptures in the Talmud and Midrash (in Hebrew). Lemberg, 1870.
GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY.
A. Berliner. Beitrage zur Geographie u. Ethnographie Babyloniens im Talmud u. Midrasch. Berlin, 1883.
J. Derenbourg. Essai sur l'histoire et la geographie de la Palestine d'apres les Talmuds et les autres sources rabbiniques. Paris, 1867.
H. Hildesheimer. Beitrage zur Geographie Palastinas. Berlin, 1886.
Armand Kaminka. Studien zur Geschichte Galilaeas. Berlin, 1890.
Ad. Neubauer. La geographie du Talmud. Memoire couronne par l'academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. Paris, 1868.
a. In General.
Jacques Levy. La jurisprudence du Pentateuque et du Talmud. Constantine, 1879.
S. Mayer. Die Rechte der Israeliten, Athener and Romer. Leipsic, 1862-66.
M. Mielziner. Legal Maxims and Fundamental Laws of the Civil and Criminal Code of the Talmud. Cincinnati, 1898.
M. W. Rapaport. Der Talmud and sein Recht (in Zeitschrift fuer Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft, XIV. Band. Stuttgart, 1900).
I. L. Saalschutz. Das Mosaische Recht, nebst den vervollstandigenden thalmudisch-rabbinischen Bestimmungen. 2d Edition. Berlin, 1853.
S. Schaffer. Das Recht u. seine Stellung zur Moral nach talmudischer Sitten- and Rechtslehre. Frankf. on the M.,1889.
I. M. Wise. The Law (in the Hebrew Review, Vol. I., pp. 12-32. Cincinnati, 1880).
b. Judicial Courts.
Adolph Buechler. Das Synhedrion in Jerusalem. Vienna, 1902.
E. Hoffmann. Der oberste Gerichtshof in der Stadt des Heiligthums. Berlin, 1878.
J. Klein. Das Gesetz ueber das gerichtlische Beweisverfabren nach mosaisch-talmudischen Rechte. Halle, 1885. J. Selden. De Synedriis et praefecturis juridicis veterum Ebraeorum. London, 1650; Amsterd., 1679; Frankf., 1696. c. Evidence in Law.
1. Blumenstein. Die verschiedenen Eidesarten nach mosaisch-talmudischem Rechte. Frankf. on the M., 1883.
Z. Frankel. Der Gerichtliche Beweis nach mosaisch-talmudischem Rechte. Berlin, 1846.
D. Fink. "Miggo" als Rechtsbeweis im bab. Talm. Leipsic, 1891.
d. Criminal Law.
0. Bahr. Das Gesetz uber falsche Zeugen, nach Bibel u. Talmud. Berlin, 1862.
P. B. Benny. The Criminal Code of the Jews. London, 1880.
M. Duschak. Das mosaisch-talmudische Strafrecht. Vienna, 1869. ,
J. Furst. Das peinliche Rechtsverfahren im Jud. Alterthum. Heidelberg, 1870.
E. Goitein. Das Vergeltungsprinzip im bibl. u. talmudischen Strafrecht (in Zeitschrift fur Wissenschaft d. J. Vol. XIX.
S. Mendelsohn. The Criminal jurisprudence of the ancient Hebrews compiled from the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. Baltimore, 1891.
Thonisson. La peine de mort dans le Talmud. Brussels, 1886.
J Vargha. Defence in criminal cases with the ancient Hebrews, translated from the first chapter of the author's large work "Vertheidigung in Criminalfallen," and published in the Hebrew Review, Vol. L, pp. 254-268. Cincinnati, 188o.
I. Wiesner. Der Bann in seiner geschichtlichen Entwickelung auf dem Boden des Judenthums. Leipsic, 1864.
e. Civil Law.
L. Auerbach. Das judische Obligationsrecht. Berlin, 1871.
M. Bloch. Die Civilprocess-Ordnung nach mosaisch-rabbinischem Rechte. Budapest, 1882.
H. B. Fassel. Das mosaisch-rabbinische Civilrecht. Gr. Kanischa, 1852-54; Das mosaisch-rabbinische Gerichtsverfahren in civilrechtlischen Sachen. Gr. Kanischa, 1859.
S. Keyzer. Dissertatio de tutela secundum jus Talmudicum. Leyden, 1847.
f. Inheritance and Testament.
M. Bloch. Der Vertrag nach mosaisch-talmud. Rechte. Budapest, 1892; Das mosaisch-talmud, Erebrecht. Buda-pest, 1890;
L. Bodenheimer. Das Testament. Crefeld, 1847.
Eduard Gans. Grundzuge des mosaisch-talmudischen Erbrechts (in Zunz's Zeitschrift fur die Wissenschaft des Judenthums, p. 419 sq.).
M. Mielziner. The Rabbinical Law of Hereditary Succession. Cincinnati, 1900.
Moses Mendelssohn. Ritualgesetze der Juden, betreffend Erbschaften Vormundschaft, Testamente, etc. Berlin, 1778, and several later editions.
M. W. Rapaport. Grundsaetze des (talmudischen) In-testaterbrechts and Schenkungen (in Zeitschrift fuer Vergleichende Rechts Wissenschaft, XIV. Band. Stuttgart, 1900.
Joh. Selden. De Successionibus in bona defuncti ad leges Hebraeorum. London, 1646; Frankf., 1696.
A. Wolff. f . Das Juedische Erbrecht. Berlin, 1888.
g. Police Law.
M. Bloch. Das mosaisch-talmudische Polizeirecht. Budapest, 1878. Translated into English by I. W. Lilienthal in the Hebrew Review, Vol. I. Cincinnati, 1881.
h. Law of Marriage and Divorce.
P. Buchholz. Die Familie nach mos.-talmud. Lehre. Breslau, 1867.
M. Duschak. Das mosaisch-talmudische Eherecht. Vienna, 1864.
Z. Frankel. Grundlinien des mosaisch-talmud. Eherechts. Breslau, 186o.
S. Holdheim. Die Autonomie der Rabbinen and das Princip der judischen Ehe. Schwerin, 1847.
L. Lichtschein. Die Ehe nach mosaisch-talm. Auffassung. Leipsic, 1879.
M. Mielziner. The Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce in ancient and modern times, and its relation to the law of the State. Cincinnati, 1884.
Joh. Selden. Uxor Ebraica sive de nuptiis et divortiis, etc. London, 1646.
I. Stern. Die Frau im Talmud. Zurich, 1879.
D. W. Amram. The Jewish Law of Divorce. Philadelphia, 18g6.
i. Laws Concerning Slavery.
D. Farbstein. Das Recht der freien and der unfreien Arbeiter nach juedish-talmudischen Recht. Frankfort o. M., 1896.
M. Mielziner. Verhaltnisse der Sklaven bei den alten
Hebraern nach biblischen and talmudischen Quellen. Copenhagen (Leipsic), 1859.
REMARK — An English translation of this treatise was published by Prof. H. I. Schmidt in the Gettysburg Evang. Review, Vol. XIII., No. 51, and reprinted in the Am. Jew's Annual. Cincinnati, 1886.
I. Winter. Stellung der Sklaven bei den Juden. Breslau, 1886.
Zadok-Kahn. L'esclavage selon la Bible et le Talmud (Paris, 1867); Sklaverei nach Bibel u. Talmud. Deutsch von Singer. Berlin, 1888.
A. Berliner. Beitrage zur hebraischen Grammatik im Talmud u. Midrasch. Berlin, 1879,
Ad. Brull. Fremdsprachliche Redensarten u. Worter in den Talmuden u. Midraschim. Leipsic, 1869.
N. Brull. Fremdsprachliche Worter in den Talmuden u. Midraschim (in Jahrbucher fur jud. Geschichte u. Literatur, L, 123-220). Frankf. o. M., 1874.
Sam. Kramer. Griechische and Lateinische Lehnwoerter in Talmud, Midrasch u. Targum. 2 vols. Berlin, 1898-99.
Jos. Perles. Etymologische Studien zur Kunde der rabbinischen Sprache and Alterthumer. Breslau, 1871.
G. Rulf. Zur Lautleure der aramaisch-talmudischen Dialecte. Breslau, 1879.
Mich. Sachs. Beitrage zur Sprach- and Alterthumsforschung. 2 volumes, Berlin, 1852-54.
A. Lieberman. Das Pronomen and das Adverbium des babyl.-talmudischen Dialecte. Berlin, 1895.
B. Zuckermann, Das Mathematische im Talmud. Beleuchtung and Elauterung der Talmudstellen mathematischen Inhalts. Breslau, 1878.
MEDICINE, SURGERY, ETC.
Jos. Bergel. Die Medizin der Talmudisten. Leipsic, 1885.
Joach. Halpern. Beitrage zur Geschichte der talm. Chirurgie. Breslau, 1869,
A. H. Israels. Collectanea Gynaecologica ex Talmude Babylonico. Groningen, 1845.
L. Katzenelsson, Die Osteologie der Talmudisten. Eine talmudisch-anatonische Studie (in Hebrew). St. Petersburg, 1888.
R. 1. Wunderbar. Biblisch-talmudische Medicin. 2 Volumes. Riga (Leipsic), 1850-60.
NATURAL HISTORY AND SCIENCES.
Jos. Bergel. Studien uber die naturwissenschaftlichen Kenntnisse der Talmudisten. Leipsic, 1880.
M. Duschak. Zur Botanik des Talmud. Budapest, 1870.
L. Lewysohn. Die Zoologie des Talmuds. Frankf. on the M., 1858.
Imm. Low. Aramaische Pflanzennamen, Leipsic, 1881. PARSEEISM IN THE TALMUD.
Alexander Kohut. Was hat die talm. Eschatologie aus dem Parsismus aufgenommen? (in Z. d. D. M. G., Vol. XXI,, pp. 552-91); Die judische Angelologie and Daemonologie in ihrer Abhangigkeit vom Parsismus (Leipsic, 1866); Die talmudisch-midraschische Adamssage in ihrer Ruckbeziehung auf die pers. Yima und Meshiasage (in Z. d. D. M. G., XXV., pp. 59-94); Die Namen der pers. u. babylonischen Feste im Talmud (in Kobak's Jeschurun, Vol. VIII., 49-64). The same subject in Revue des Etudes Juives, Vol. XXIV.
S. Sekles. The Poetry of the Talmud. New York, 188o.
PROVERBS, MAXIMS, PARABLES.
L. Dukes. Rabbinische Blumenlese (Leipsic,1844); Rabbinische Sprachkunde (Vienna, 1851).
R. Furstenthal. Rabbinische Anthologie. Breslau, 1834.
Giuseppe Levi. Parabeln, Legenden u. Gedanken aus Talmud u. Midrasch, aus dem Italienischen ins Deutsche ubetragen von L. Seligmann. Leipsic, 1863.
Lowenstein. Sentenzen, Spruche u. Lebensregeln aus dem Talmud. Berlin, 1887.
Henry Cohen. Talmudic Sayings. Cincinnati, 1895.
G. Tabenhaus. Echoes of Wisdom, or Talmudic Sayings, Part I. Brooklyn, 1900.
M. Jacobson. Versuch einer Psychologie des Talmud. Hamburg, 1878.
I. Wiesner. Zur talmudischen Psychologie (in Magazin fur judische Geschichte and Literatur, Vol. I., 1874, and II., 1875)
RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY.
M. Friedlander. Ben Dosa und seine Zeit, oder Einfluss der heidnischen Philosophie auf das judenthum u. Christenthum. Prague, 1872.
M. Gudemann. Religionsgeschichtliche Studien. Leipsic, 1876.
M. Joel Blicke in die Religionsgeschichte zu Anfang des II. Jahrhunderts. Breslau, 1880.
A. Nager. Die Religionsphilosophie des Talmud. Leipsic, 1864.
SUPERNATURALISM AND SUPERSTITION.
Gideon Brecher. Das Transcendentale, Magik und magische Heilarten im Talmud. Vienna, 1850.
David Joel. Der Aberglaube and die Stellung des Judenthums zu dismember. 2 parts. Breslau, 1881-3.
Alex. Kohut. judische Angelologie u. Daemonologie in ihrer Abhangigkeit vom Parsismus. Leipsic, 1866.
Sal. Thein. Das Princip des planetarischen Einflusses nach der Anschauung des Talmud. Vienna, 1876.
S. Wolffsohn. Oneirologie im Talmud, oder der Traum nach Auffassung des Talmuds. Breslau, 1874.
POPULAR TREATISES AND LECTURES ON THE TALMUD. Tobias Cohn. Der Talmud. Ein Vortrag. Vienna, 1866. Arsem Darmstetter. The Talmud (translated from the French by Henriette Szold). Philadelphia, 1897.
Emanuel Deutsch. What is the Talmud? (in the Quarterly Review for October, 1867, reprinted in the Literary Re-mains, New York, 1874).
M. Ehrentheil. Der Geist des Talmud. Breslau, 1887.
J. Eschelbacher. Zwei Reden ueber den Talmud. Frank-fort o. M., 1897.
Karl Fischer. Gutmeinung fiber den Talmud. Vienna, 1883.
H. Goitein. Anklaeger and Vertheidiger des Talmud. Frankf. o. M., 1897.
Sams. Raph. Hirsch. Beziehung des Talmuds zum Judenthum and zur sociable Stellung seiner Be Kenner. Frankf. o. M., 1884.
P. 1. Hershon. Talmudic Miscellany. London, 188o.
P. L. Hershon. Treasures of the Talmud. London, 1882.
Abram S. Isaacs. Stories from the Rabbis. New York, 1893
A. Jellinek. Der Talmud. Zwei Reden (Vienna, 1865); Der Talmudjude. 4 Reden (Vienna, 1882-83).
M. Joel. Gutachten fiber den Talmud. Breslau, 1877. Albert Katz. Der wahre Talmudjude. Die wichtigsten Grundsatze des talmudischen Schriftthums fiber das sittliche Leben des Menschen. Berlin, 1893.
S. Klein. Die Wahrheit fiber den Talmud (aus dem Fran-zosischen "La verite Sur le Talmud," ubersetzt von S. Mannheimer. Basel, 186o.
Isidore Loeb. La Controverse Sur le Talmud sous Saint Louis. Paris, 1881.
H. Polano. The Talmud, Selections from the contents of that ancient book. London, 1876.
Ludwig Philippson. Zur Characteristik des Talmuds (in "Weltbewegende Fragen." Vol. IL, pp. 349-416. Leipsic, 1869).
Em. Schreiber. The Talmud. A series of (4) Lectures. Denver, 1884.
L. Stern. Ueber den Talmud. Vortrag. Wurzburg, 1875.
Stern. Lichtstrahlen aus dem Talmud. Zurich, 1883. A. A. Wolff. Talmudfjender (the Enemies of the Talmud), in Danish. Copenhagen, 1878.
August Wunsche. Der Talmud. Eine Skizze. Zurich, 1879.
M. L. Rodkinson. What is the Talmud? (A book in Hebrew, the first chapter of which is translated into English as an appendix to the Pentateuch. Its language and characters). Chicago, 11894. In the first prospectus issued by the New Amsterdam Book Co., it is republished with additional remarks.
WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS FEEL INTERESTED IN THE TALMUD?*
Christian theology and Jewish theology having really followed two parallel paths, the history of either cannot be under-stood without the history of the other. Numberless material details of the gospels find, moreover, their commentary in the Talmud … The distinction of epochs is here very important, the compilation of the Talmud extending from the year 200 to the year 500 nearly. — Renan's "Life of Jesus," Introduction.
Is the literature that Jesus was familiar with in his early years yet in existence in the world? Is it possible for us to get at it? Can we ourselves review the ideas, the statements, the modes of reasoning and thinking, on moral and religious subjects, which were current in his time, and must have been revolved by him during those silent thirty years when he was pondering his future mission? To such inquiries the learned class of Jewish rabbis answer by holding up the Talmud. Here, say they, is the source from whence Jesus of Nazareth drew the teachings which enabled him to revolutionize the world; and the question becomes, therefore, an interesting one to every Christian, What is the Talmud? …
The Talmud, then, is the written form of that which, in the time of Jesus, was called the Traditions of the Elders, and to which he makes frequent allusions. What sort of book is it?
The answer is at first sight discouraging to flesh and spirit. The Talmud appears to view in form of fourteen heavy folio volumes, of thick, solid Hebrew and Aramaic consonants, without a vowel to be seen from the first word of the first volume
* Many learned men, as is well known to any student, have in each century since the close of the Talmud written about the necessity of Talmudic studies, even for non-Jews. We have, nevertheless, selected for quotation some statements of modern scholars of this century, to the effect that the study of the Talmud is highly useful to Christian theologians.
to the last word of the last. Such is the Jewish Talmud, including both the Jerusalem and the Babylonian. Who can read it? It can be read, for it has been read …
The Talmud is the great repository of the mental products of a most vigorous and vivid race of thinkers, through long ages of degradation, persecution, oppression, and sorrow; and, as such, few human works are more worthy of, or will better repay, the student of human nature
What light it may shed on the words of Jesus and Paul to know the modes of thought which were such a perfect world in their time! When Paul speaks of his studies at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the principal authors of the Talmud, of his profiting in the matters of law above many of his equals, we see him, an ardent young enthusiast, on the way to become an accomplished rabbi, perhaps even a Nasi, in some future day, and we understand what he means when he says, "But what things were gain tome, these I counted loss to Christ." It was a whole education and a whole life's work that he threw at the feet of his new Master.
Looking at the Talmud in contrast with any other ancient sacred writings extant in the world, except the Bible, we must be struck with its immense superiority
I desire, in conclusion, to express my obligations to the ponderous erudition of the two older standard authors on this subject …
The writings of Dukes, an author of our own day, are especially rich in regard to Rabbinic proverbs and apologues; and in one of his prefaces he expresses the hope that they may be of some use even to that rather numerous body of Christians who give little other evidence of being Christians at all, except that of hating the Jews. — Atlantic Monthly, vol. 21, p. 673, sq.
The science of our day owes to itself the duty of studying the Talmud impartially. It will judge worthy of its attention this monument of a religion and a civilization whose influence has not been void in the world, and whatever its absolute value may be adjudged to be, science will understand it, and study its formation and development. It will demand of the Talmud instruction, or, at least, information, almost as varied as the subjects coming within the compass of science. The historian will address himself to it for light upon the history of the
earliest centuries of the Christian era, and of the centuries immediately preceding it, and though not seeking in it precise data, which it cannot furnish, he will be sure to find a faithful picture of the beliefs and ideas of the Jewish nation on its moral and spiritual life. The naturalist will ask of it numerous questions concerning the sciences, physical, natural, or medical. Has it ever occurred to any one to compile, if not the fauna, at least the flora of the Talmud; that is, of the Palestine and Babylonia contemporary with the Empire? It were easy with it as a basis to furnish a second edition of Pliny's Natural History, certainly as valuable as the first. The lawyer will question it on the history of its jurisprudence, will investigate whether, how, and by what intermediaries Roman law and Persian customs influenced it, and it will be a curious study to compare the results that two different civilizations, directs by opposite principles, have reached in the jus civile and the jus Talmudicum. The mythologist will dive into its legends, and, by a nice application of the comparative method, determine the history of Midrashic mythology. The philologist will devote himself to the language — that abrupt, rough language by means of which the Talmud seems to please itself in heaping up obscurities of form over those of the thought, and he will be sure to make more than one happy find. For, says the author of the History of the Semitic Languages, "the lexical spoliation and grammatic analysis of the Talmudic language, according to the methods of modern philology, remain to be made That language fills a hiatus in the history of Semitic idioms.
Finally, the philosopher will demand of the Talmud the explanation of Judaism and the history of Jewish institutions, and as the Talmudic books offer the completest expression thereof, and as he has at hand all the component elements, a scrupulous analysis will give him the law of the development of the Jewish religion. — Darmesteter, "The Talmud," p. 96.
Here we have an attempt-and the attempt is praiseworthy -to put the Talmud, or the substance of it, into plain English, and for this the Christian reader, if not the learned rabbi, must be grateful to the translator. — Independent, April 7, 1898.
Published in the second prospectus issued by the New Talmud Publishing Co., adding to them some remarks of Mielziner's
address to the senior class of the Union Hebrew College at Cincinnati, some years ago:
"To impress you the more with the necessity of the Talmudic studies for a clear conception of Judaism and its history, I could also quote the opinions of many of our greatest scholars, but shall confine myself only to a quotation from the writings of two of our most renowned scholars whom none will suspect of having been biased by a too great predilection for the Talmud; one is the late Dr. Geiger, and the other our great historian, the late Dr. Jost.
"Geiger (Das Judenthum and seine Geschichte, I., p. 155) in speaking of the Talmud and the rabbinical literature, says:
"'Gigantic works, productions of gloomy and brighter periods are here before us, monuments of thought and intellectual labor; they excite our admiration, I do not endorse every word of the Talmud, nor every idea expressed by the teachers in the time of the Middle Ages, but I would not miss a tittle thereof. They contain an acumen and power of thought which fill us with reverence for the spirit that animated our ancestors, a fullness of sound sense, salutary maxims — a freshness of opinion often bursts upon us that even to this day exercises its enlivening and inspiring effect.'
"Jost in his Geschichte des Judenthum's and seiner Secten, II., 202, characterizes the Talmud by the following masterly words:
"'The Talmud is a great mine, in which are imbedded all varieties of metals and ores. Here may be found all kinds of valuables, the finest gold and rarest gems, as also the merest dross. Much has been unearthed that has realized count-less profit to the world. The great spiritual work whose out-come has been apparent in the advancement of religion has shown that the Talmud is not only of incalculable value in the pursuit of wisdom, but that it has a self-evident significance for all times, which can not be shown by any mere extracts from its pages, and that it can not be disregarded on the plea of its antiquity as valueless in the knowledge of the Jewish religion. In-deed it is and must remain the chief source of this knowledge, and particularly of the historical development of the Jewish religion. More than this, it is the abode of that spirit which has inspired that religion, these many centuries, that spirit from
which even those who sought to counteract it could not escape. It is and will remain a labyrinth with deep shafts and openings, in which isolated spirits toil with tireless activity, a labyrinth which offers rich rewards to those who enter impelled by the de-sire to gain, not without hidden dangers to those who venture wantonly into its mazes and absorb its deadly vapors. Religion has created this work, not indeed to give utterance in an unsatisfactory way to the great questions of Deity and Nature, Mortality and Eternity, and not to carry on controversies upon the proper formulation of articles of faith, but to give expression to a religion of deed, a religion designed to accompany man from the first steps in his education until he reaches the grave, and beyond it; a guide by which his desires and actions are to be regulated at every moment, by which all his movements are to be guarded, that takes care even of his food and drink, of his pleasures and pains, of his mirth and sorrow, and seeks to elevate him, at all times, to an enunciation of the purest faith.
"'It is thus that this spirit, which breathes from the Talmud, enters into the nation's inmost life. It offers repeated recitals of the various modes of thinking, practising, believing, of the true and false representations, of hopes and longings, of knowledge and error, of the great lessons of fate, of undertakings and their consequences, of utterances and their effects, of per-sons and their talents and ineptitudes, of words and examples, of customs, both in matters of public worship and private life; in short, of all the happenings, past or cotemporary, in the time which the Talmud comprises, i.e., a period of nearly one thousand years, excluding the Bible times.
"'Hence, also, its great value to antiquarians in the frequent allusions to facts, opinions and statements, to modes of expression and grammatical construction, to peculiarities of every kind, which at the same time afford a view of the development of mankind, such as no other work of the past gives.
"'To treat the Talmud with scorn because of its oddness, on account of much that it contains that does not conform to our maturer modes of thinking, because of its evident errors and misconceptions-errors from ignorance or errors in copying-to throw it overboard, as it were, as useless ballast, would be
to insult all history, to deprive it of one of its strongest limbs, to dismember it.
"'To dam up its channels by taking away the Talmud, would be to close the access to the head waters and living sources of the Jewish religion, and thus leave her again in a desert land, after the tables of the law have already called forth a world of life and activity. It would be turning one's back, as it were, denying and disregarding one's own. There is a historical justification for the sharply defined modes of worship and religious forms that have their embodiment in set words and in fixed deeds. For this we must look to the Talmud. Judaism is rooted in the Talmud and would be tossed about in mid-air if torn from its soil, or require a new planting and a new growth.' "In conclusion, my young friends, let me say this:
"If our College had no other purpose than to graduate common Sabbath school teachers who should be able to occasionally deliver popular though superficial lectures, the study of the Talmud, as well as that of our rabbinical and philosophical literature, might have been stricken from the course of your studies. But our College has a higher aim and object. Its object is to educate future guides and leaders of our congregations, to educate banner-bearers of Judaism, representatives and cultivators of Jewish knowledge and literature.
"You can never expect to answer this purpose without a thorough knowledge of, and familiarity with, that vast literature that offers us the means to follow and understand the religious formation, the growth and the entire course of development of Judaism from its beginning to the present time."
OPINIONS ON THE VALUE OF THE TALMUD BY GENTILES AND MODERN JEWISH SCHOLARS.
No literary monument of antiquity has ever been subject to so different and opposite views and opinions, as the Talmud. Its strict followers generally looked upon it as the very embodiment of wisdom and sagacity, and as a work whose authority was second only to that of the Bible. In the non-Jewish literature it was often decried as "one of the most repulsive
books that exist," as "a confused medley of perverted logic, absurd subtleties, foolish tales and fables, and full of profanity, superstition, and even obscenity," or at the most, as "an immense heap of rubbish at the bottom of which some stray pearls of Eastern wisdom are hidden."
It is certain that many of those who thus assumed to pass a condemning judgment upon the gigantic work of the Talmud never read nor were able to read a single page of the same in the original, but were prompted by religious prejudice and antagonism, or they based their verdict merely on those disconnected and often distorted passages which Eisenmenger and his con-sorts and followers picked out from the Talmud for hostile purposes.
Christian scholars who had a deeper insight into the Talmudical literature, without being blinded by religious prejudices, expressed themselves quite differently on the character and the merits of that work, as may be seen from the following few quotations.
Johann Buxtorf, in the preface to his Lexicon Chald. et Talmudicum, says: "The Talmud contains many legal, medical, physical, ethical, political, astronomical, and other excellent documents of sciences, which admirably commend the history of that nation and time; it contains also luminous decisions of antiquity; excellent sayings; deep thoughts, full of grace and sense; and numerous expressions which make the reader not only better, but also more wise and learned, and which, like unto flashing jewels, grace the Hebrew speech not less than all those Greek and Roman phrases adorn their languages."
Other favorable opinions expressed by Christian scholars of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries are collected in Karl Fischer's "Gutmeinung fiber den Talmud der Hebraer." Vienna, 1883.
Of such scholars as belong to our time, the following may be quoted here:
The late Professor Delitzsch in his "Judisches Handwerker-leben zur Zeit Jesu," says:
"Those who have not in some degree accomplished the extremely difficult task of reading this work for themselves, will hardly be able to form a clear idea of this polynomical colossus. It is an immense speaking-hall, in which thousands and tens of
thousand of voices, of at least five centuries, are heard to commingle. A law, as we all know from experience, can never be so precisely formulated that there does not remain room for various interpretations; and question upon question constantly arises as to the application of it to the endless multiplicity of the existing relations of life. Just imagine about ten thousand decrees concerning Jewish life classified according to the spheres of life, and in addition to these, about five hundred scribes and lawyers, mostly from Palestine and Babylon, taking up one after another of these decrees as the topic of examination and debate, and, discussing with hair-splitting acuteness every shade of meaning and practical application; and imagine, further, that the fine-spun thread of this interpretation of decrees is frequently lost in digressions, and that, after having traversed long distances of such desert-sand, you find, here and there, an oasis, consisting of sayings and accounts of more general interest. Then you may have some slight idea of this vast, and of its kind, unique, juridic codex, compared with whose compass all the law-books of other nations are but Lilliputians, and beside whose variegated, buzzing market din, they represent but quiet study-chambers."
J. Alexander, in his book on The Jews; their Past, Present and Future (London, 1870), says:
"The Talmud, as it now stands, is almost the whole literature of the Jews during a thousand years. Commentator followed upon commentator, till at last the whole became an immense bulk; the original Babylonian Talmud alone consists of 2,947 folio pages. Out of such literature it is easy to make quotations which may throw an odium over the whole. But fancy if the production of a thousand years of English literature, say, from the "History" of the Venerable Bede to Milton's "Paradise Lost," were thrown together into a number of uniform folios, and judged in like manner; if because some superstitious monks wrote silly "Lives of Saints," therefore the works of John Bunyan should also be considered worthless. The absurdity is too obvious to require another word from me. Such, however, is the continual treatment the Talmud receives both at the hand of its friends and of its enemies. Both will find it easy to quote in behalf of their preconceived notions, but the earnest student will rather try to weigh the matter im-
partially, retain the good he can find even in the Talmud, and reject what will not stand the test of God's word."
The impartial view of the Talmud taken by modern Jewish scholars may be seen from the following opinion expressed by the late Professor Graetz in his "History of the Jews" (vol. IV., 3o8 sq.).
"The Talmud must not be considered as an ordinary literary work consisting of twelve folios; it bears not the least internal resemblance to a single literary production; but forms a world of its own which must be judged according to its own laws. It is, therefore, extremely difficult to furnish a specific sketch of the Talmud, seeing that a familiar standard or analogy is wanting. And however thoroughly a man of consummate talent may have penetrated its spirit and become con-versant with its peculiarities, he would scarcely succeed in such a task. It may, in some respects, be compared with the Patristic literature, which sprang up simultaneously. But on closer inspection, this comparison will also fail …
"The Talmud has at different times been variously judged on the most heterogeneous assumptions, it has been condemned and consigned to the flames; simply because it was presented in its unfavorable aspect without taking into consideration its actual merits. It cannot be denied that the Babylonian Talmud labors under some defects, like any other mental product; which pursues a single course with inexorable consistency and undeviating dogmatism. These defects may be classified under four heads: the Talmud contains some unessential and trivial subjects, which it treats with much importance and a serious air; it has adopted from its Persian surroundings superstitious practices and views, which presuppose the agency of intermediate spiritual beings, witchcraft; exorcising formulas, magical cures and interpretations of dreams and, hence, are in conflict with the spirit of Judaism; it further contains several uncharitable utterances and provisions against members of other nations and creeds; lastly it favors a bad interpretation of Scripture, absurd, forced and frequently false commentations. For these faults the whole Talmud has been held responsible and been denounced as a work devoted to trifles, as a source of immorality and trickery, without taking into consideration that it is not a work of a single author who must be responsible
for every word, and if it be so, then the whole Jewish people was its author. Over six centuries are crystallized in the Talmud with animated distinctness, in their peculiar costumes, modes of speech and of thought, so to say a literary Herculaneum and Pompeii, not weakened by artistic imitation, which transfers a colossal picture to the narrow limits of a miniature. It is, therefore, no wonder, if in this world sublime and mean, great and small, serious and ridiculous, Jewish and heathen elements, the altar and the ashes, are found in motley mixture. Those odious dicta of which Jew-haters have taken hold were in most cases nothing else but the utterances of a momentary indignation, to which an individual had given vent and which were preserved and embodied in the Talmud by over-zealous disciples, who were unwilling to omit a single expression of the revered ancients. But these utterances are richly counterbalanced by the maxims of benevolence and philanthropy towards every man, regardless of creed and nationality, which are also preserved in the Talmud. As counterpoise to the rank superstition, there are found therein sharp warnings against superstitious, heathen practices (Darke Emori), to which subject a whole section, under the name of Perek Emorai, is devoted.*
"The Babylonian Talmud is especially characterized and distinguished from the Palestinian, by high-soaring contemplations, a keen understanding, and flashes of thought which fit-fully dart through the mental horizon. An incalculable store of ideas and incentives to thinking is treasured in the Talmud, but not in the form of finished themes that may be appropriated in a semi-somnolent state, but with the fresh coloring of their inception. The Babylonian Talmud leads into the laboratory of thought, and its ideas may be traced from their embryonic motion up to a giddy height, whither they at times soar into the region of the incomprehensible. For this reason it became, more than the Jerusalemean, the national property, the vital breath, the soul of the Jewish people — "
* Sabbath, 66a; Toseptha, Ch. VIL, VIII.