5 episodes

An introduction to the first 1000 years of rabbinic literature in five episodes with Rabbi Mordecai Schwartz, Director, Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker Beit Midrash and Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS.

The Evolution of Torah: a history of rabbinic literature JTS

    • Judaism

An introduction to the first 1000 years of rabbinic literature in five episodes with Rabbi Mordecai Schwartz, Director, Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker Beit Midrash and Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS.

    5. The Talmud after the Talmud

    5. The Talmud after the Talmud

    How did the Babylonian Talmud become a fixed, closed book, the most influential one in the Jewish world? In this episode, we discuss the final layers of interpretation and editing that made it into the Talmud. We’ll also see how the influence of the Geonim, the heads of the Babylonian academies, together with immigration, spread the authority of the Babylonian Talmud to even far-flung Jewish communities. Lastly, we reflect on how the process of interpreting the Talmud continues through the medieval period and into our own day.

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 16 min
    4. Midrash: Making meaning

    4. Midrash: Making meaning

    The Rabbis were not only interested in compiling and interpreting the Mishnah. In this episode, we look at some examples of Midrash, rabbinic interpretation of the Bible to derive both legal and narrative insights. We also hear how study of Midrash experienced a renaissance in the hands of modern scholars and ask if genuine Midrash can be found after the rabbinic period.

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 11 min
    3. The Talmud(s): Creating Torah through dispute

    3. The Talmud(s): Creating Torah through dispute

    Interpreting the Mishnah evolved into a creative process where pairs of Rabbis would argue with each other. In this episode, we discuss how these debates about interpretation developed into a primary component of the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud.

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 9 min
    2. The Mishnah: the earliest voices

    2. The Mishnah: the earliest voices

    The Mishnah is the foundational rabbinic text. How did it come to be? Who authored it? And what’s in it? In this episode, we look at an example of a mishnah and Rabbi Schwartz also gives an overview of the role of women in and around the Mishnah.

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 16 min
    1. Who Were the Rabbis?

    1. Who Were the Rabbis?

    What led to the emergence of the group of scholars and teachers we call the Rabbis? What motivated them and what did they value? The Rabbis looked to their forebear, Hillel, as an exemplar of religious leadership, and in this episode, we’ll look at three stories they told about Hillel to see what we can learn about the Rabbis’ self-conception.

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

Gumshoe D ,

More of this

More of this type of history please! Thank you.

ATHoosierHiker ,

Who hijacked my podcast?

I was surprised when a new episode of What Now? popped up on my phone as I wasn’t expecting Season 2. To my pleasant surprise, it was this “taste of Torah” and after one episode, I’m in. I can only imagine what debates between Shammai and Hillel would have been like. Way more entertaining than today’s political fodder. Looking forward to listening to the remaking episodes.

sbbEZas123 ,

Well done!

I loved listening to so many years of history and scholarship, succinctly shared by another awesome JTS teacher. It’s a great way to learn, relearn, and revisit some of your favorite and foundational texts and stories. More please!

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