The Talmud c. 180

The Talmud c. 180

The Talmud Hour (c. 1900) by German painter J. Scheich
The Talmud Hour (c. 1900) by German painter J. Scheich

The Torah, which consists of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is the cornerstone of Jewish law. Jews meditated on and discussed the Torah and its lessons until the sixth century BCE, creating and preserving an oral legacy that supplemented the written word. Then came a protracted period of Jewish subjugation and exile, which began with the Babylonians and ended with the Romans. As the survival of an oral tradition became more precarious, sages and academics began to record it, eventually resulting in the Talmud.

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