The Talmud is an indispensable guide to Jewish thought, culture, folklore, and literature. By understanding the Talmud, the student will also understand many of the Jewish traditions and oral law. This will also provide invaluable insight into what Yeshua meant and why he interacted with the Pharisees, scribes, and doctors of law in the manner that he did. Many of the discussions both by the Apostle Paul and Yeshua can only be fully appreciated after acquiring an awareness of similar discussions and debates in the Talmud.
The Talmud, itself, is an enormous work consisting of 63 tracates and some 2,711 pages. It is indeed a lifetime of study. However, the student is encouraged simply to ‘dive in.’ The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Learning the Talmud will involve gaining familiarity with Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, and Babylonian Jewish Aramaic (all topics are taught on this website). The student will also need to be able to understand ‘Rashi Script.’ It is important to note that the Talmud has a terse, telegraphic style and the student will need to consult the ‘ Rashi’ as well as other cross-references and Rabbinic works such as the Mishneh Toreh, Midrash, and Tosefta to gain a fuller understanding of what is being communicated. Finally, it is advisable for the student to be aware of the style of study that most Talmudic students attending a physical institution engage in. Most of these students will have a ‘havurah’ a fellow student to discuss topics with. At YaYiN, a virtual ‘havurah will help somewhat to mitigate the fact that this is not possible
LESSON ONE – TALMUD