The foundational book of Rabbinic Jewish law. It includes both the Mishna and the Gemara (commentaries on it).

During the centuries after Rabbi Judah published the Mishna, generations of rabbis, known collectively as the amoraim (Aramaic: explainers), who provided extended interpretations of the Mishna, collectively called the the Gemara, from about AD 200 to AD 500. The rabbis of Palestine edited their discussions of the Mishna about the year 400: Their work became known as the Palestinian Talmud (in Hebrew, Talmud Yerushalmi, which literally means “Jerusalem Talmud”).

More than a century later, some of the leading Babylonian rabbis compiled another editing of the discussions on the Mishna. By then, these deliberations had been going on some three hundred years. The Babylon edition was far more extensive than its Palestinian counterpart, so that the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli) became the most authoritative compilation of the Oral Law. When people speak of studying “the Talmud,” they almost invariably mean the Bavli rather than the Yerushalmi.

Includes both the Talmud Yerushalmi, Jerusalem Talmud, and the much larger and more extensive Talmud Bavli, or Babylonian Talmud. Jews who speak of studying “Talmud” are referring to the Bavli.

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