The Oth­er Tal­mud: The Yerushalmi

  • Review
By – April 30, 2012

Until recent­ly, the Baby­lon­ian Tal­mud was the Tal­mud of choice for study. While small num­bers of schol­ars were knowl­edge­able of the oth­er” Tal­mud, gen­er­al­ly known as the Yerushal­mi, or Jerusalem Tal­mud, it was the Baby­lon­ian Tal­mud that has been most often quot­ed and relied upon, and the Baby­lon­ian Tal­mud that was pri­mar­i­ly made avail­able in Eng­lish trans­la­tion. Rab­bi Dr. Abrams sug­gests that Jew­ish prac­tice and Jew­ish life might look rather dif­fer­ent had the Yerushal­mi text become the pri­ma­ry Tal­mu­dic text. In an enter­tain­ing approach, she uses not only her Tal­mu­dic knowl­edge, but a vast knowl­edge of film to draw metaphors for how to under­stand the Yerushalmi’s approach to Judaism. Using exam­ples from rit­u­al law, hol­i­days, and more, she shows where the dif­fer­ences between the two Tal­mu­dic approach­es lie and chal­lenges us to look at Judaism through a Tal­mu­dic lens that, in her view, allows for greater flex­i­bil­i­ty and a wider range of choic­es. Bib­li­og­ra­phy, notes.

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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