Next to the Bible itself, the Talmud is hailed as the greatest literary achievement of the Jewish people. Composed in Palestine and Babylonia over fifteen centuries ago, the two encyclopedic works that comprise the Talmud contain not only intense legal debates but also discussions on subjects as diverse as astronomy, health, sex, domestic affairs, education, prayer, food, and superstition. In fact, so wide-ranging are its contents that those deeply involved in Talmudic study are said to be "swimming in the sea of the Talmud."
Achieving an understanding of the interpretations and rulings of the biblical text as set forth by the Rabbis of the Talmud requires not only concentrated study of the tractates themselves, but also a degree of insight into those scholars whose opinions are presented. To that end, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, bestselling author of The Jewish Book of Why, has combed the literature and extracted fascinating biographical and other pertinent information about the great thinkers who devoted their lives to the analysis and formulation of Jewish law.
>From familial and collegial relationships to methods of argumentation and interpretation, this important work provides both scholar and novice with the perspective necessary to understand the thinking of the Talmudic sages. Startling in its scope, Masters of the Talmud is an essential tool for those interested in truly appreciating one of Judaism?s most treasured creations.
"An aid to any student of the Talmud."
- Publishers Weekly
"Masters of the Talmud provides scholars and laymen a with an indispensable key to the magnificent treasures of the Talmud."
- Emanuel S. Goldsmith, Professor of Jewish Studies, Queens College of the City University of New York.
About the Author:
Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. From 1941 to 1948 he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army.
Rabbi Kolatch has authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are the best-selling "Jewish Book of Why" and "Second Jewish Book of Why", "This Is the Torah", "The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why", "The New Name Dictionary", "The Complete Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names", "The Family Seder", and "The Jewish Child's First Book of Why". His most recent works are "Great Jewish Quotations: By Jews and About Jews", "The Presidents of the United States & the Jews", and "What Jews Say About God".
In addition to his scholarly work, Rabbi Kolatch has served as president of the Association of Jewish Chaplains of the Armed Forces and as vice-president of the interdenominational Military Chaplains Association of the United States.