Everyman's Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages

by A. Cohen

Book, 1995



Call number

101 COH


New York : Schocken Books : Distributed by Pantheon Books, c1995.


The First Comprehensive Summary, for the English Reader, of the Teaching of the Talmud and the Rabbis on Ethics, Religion, Folk-lore and Jurisprudence. Cohen does an excellent job of presenting the origins of Talmudic literature and summarizing in a meaningful way the many doctrines it contains.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
In the course of my theological studies (if I can dignify my readings with that term), I've occasionally attempted to read the sacred writings of other religions. I haven't fared too well. I read a big chunk of the Bhagavad Gita, but it was so dense and unfulfilling (I should say boring, but that
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term might be offensive) that I put it down. Similarily, I started the Book of Mormon and ended up skimming the second half of it. In both cases I read enough to satisfy myself that the books have nothing to say to me, and I didn't bother to expend the energy to finish them. Of course, I haven't learned my lesson, either, and still had half a mind to someday tackle the Quran and the Talmud. Well, I can safely scratch the Talmud off my list, thanks to this book that my wife discovered. Abraham Cohen has written an "introduction" to the Talmud--a brief overview of what the Talmud has to say on various topics. (Brief in comparison to the Talmud itself, that is. Everyman's Talmud is over 400 pages.) It's not a replacement for the Talmud by any means, but it gives enough of Judaism's teachings to satisfy my curiosity. Like the Gita and BoM, I didn't quite agree with everything the book had to say. Unlike the other two, however, I found Cohen's book enjoyable. Perhaps it's because Judaism is so close to the truth, or maybe it's just that Cohen is an extremely skilled writier. I don't know. I do know that I'm going to keep Everyman's Talmud on my shelf. Now if I could only find someone to digest the Quran for me...
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LibraryThing member breadhat
I took an incredibly long time to read this. I guess I have a hard time maintaining interest in books that offer a distillation of the ethical teachings of religious texts, because those teachings are largely what I would have assumed them to be from the beginning. This is a very detailed and
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informative work, just not one that I found very engaging to read. It did pick up toward the end with the sections on folklore and magic, jurisprudence, and eschatology, which were the subjects I was most interested in.

Cohen maintains a fine balance between scholarship and apologetics, which also puts me off a little: I don't need to be convinced that rabbinic Judaism is worthy of my respect, and I'm intrigued by many of the talmudic statements that seem to make Cohen uncomfortable. He tries to dampen many extracts that do not seem to mesh with his worldview, but to his credit he does not leave them out.

While I found this book to be a bit dull, it served as an excellent introduction to the subject. I am glad to have tackled it because I now feel ready to move on to more interesting studies on the Talmud and rabbinic Judaism.
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LibraryThing member AniIma
This book was written to educate readers about Talmud, The 'Rulings' of the Sages, their explanations of Torah Law(Halacha) --No we do not call ours the old Testamentm but rather the Torah or Tanach(K). This is one of many wonderfully written books meant to educate Jews and non Jews, and to,
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perhaps shed a bit of light on what Jews believe, if you should happen to have an open mind and a strong background in Torah,.
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LibraryThing member nmele
A very informative book, from the introduction to the bibliography. Many of the stories from the Talmud shed light, for me, on some of Jesus' parables and on some early Christian traditions. Not to mention improving my understanding of Judaism.

Original publication date

1949 (New American Edition with an introduction by Dr. Boaz Cohen)


0805210326 / 9780805210323

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