A fascinating—and stimulating—look at “the other Talmud”
and the possibilities for Jewish life reflected there.
“The difference between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi is something like the difference between making a movie for a regular theater versus making one for a 3-D theater and/or an IMAX theater. It’s still the story of Judaism and the Jewish people. But the colors are richer, the action is bigger, the effects are more powerful in the 3-D/IMAX world of the Yerushalmi. Your actors … live on the soundstage, that is, in Israel, and that informs their performance…. You could imagine the Yerushalmi is a pop-up book: you open it and Jewish living materializes.”
—from the Introduction
This engaging look at the Judaism that might have been breaks open the Yerushalmi—“The Talmud of the Land of Israel”—and what it means for Jewish life today. It examines what the Yerushalmi is, how it differs from the Bavli—the Babylonian Talmud—and how and why the Bavli is used today. It reveals how the Yerushalmi’s vision of Jewish practice resembles today’s liberal Judaism, and why the Yerushalmi is growing in popularity.
This broad but accessible overview of all the essential aspects of “The Talmud of the Land of Israel” will help you deepen your understanding of Judaism and the history of the Jewish people.
“Takes us on a wonderful odyssey … chock full of tantalizing textual nuggets which demonstrate Abrams’ erudition and breadth of knowledge. She … makes the essential aspects accessible to each and every [reader].”
—Dr. Norman J. Cohen, professor of midrash, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion; author, Masking and Unmasking Ourselves: Interpreting Biblical Texts on
Clothing and Identity and The Way Into Torah
“Comprehensive and clear…. Provides an understanding of a generally neglected but absolutely crucial and foundational text of the Jewish people. [The book] deserves to be read and placed on the shelf of every Jewish and religious studies library.”
—Rabbi David Ellenson, president, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion
“A joyful romp through the foreign fields of the Talmud Yerushalmi. Master teacher Rabbi Judith Abrams leads readers dancing through the Talmud texts. Brava on a wonderful introduction to a difficult text.”
—Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary; author, Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder from the Rabbis of the Talmud
“Does a great service by introducing the Jerusalem Talmud to the English-speaking public. Allows the reader to get a taste of the Jerusalem Talmud by contrasting it primarily to the Babylonian Talmud without our having to completely agree with all her views. Well done!”
—Rabbi Joseph Radinsky, rabbi emeritus, United Orthodox Synagogues
“Presents Yerushalmi texts that reflect many of the interests of this ‘other Talmud’ in a clear and extremely engaging manner.”
—Rabbi Michael Chernick, PhD, Deutsch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion; author, A Great Voice That Did Not Cease
Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams, PhD, an award-winning Jewish educator, is widely recognized for making the study of Judaism and its sacred texts accessible and relevant to our everyday lives. She is the founder and director of Maqom: A School for Adult Talmud Study (www.maqom.com) and a recipient of the Covenant Award for outstanding performance in the field of Jewish education. She teaches through the ALEPH rabbinic program and is author of Learn Talmud and Talmud for Beginners, among other books about Talmud and prayer. She is a popular speaker on the topics of Jewish learning and sacred literature.