Northwestern University
The Talmud: A Methodological Introduction
Northwestern University

The Talmud: A Methodological Introduction

Taught in English

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Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

4.6

(280 reviews)

14 hours to complete
3 weeks at 4 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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8 quizzes

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There are 8 modules in this course

The Talmud is a canonical work of Jewish literature that collects the ideas and arguments of rabbis who lived between the first and eighth centuries CE. This module explains the basics of how the Talmud was composed, why the Talmud matters and how it is accessed today.

What's included

5 videos9 readings1 quiz

The Talmud relies heavily on the authority and substance of its canonical predecessor, the Hebrew Bible. This module charts a trajectory from the biblical origins of the treatment of false testimony in Deuteronomy through its treatment within the second temple apocryphal book Susannah and the early Rabbinic law code, the Mishnah.

What's included

4 videos5 readings1 quiz

Interpretation is a major component of Rabbinic literature and the Talmud. This module introduces the specific features of Rabbinic interpretation of the Hebrew Bible—its assumptions and its reading tools.

What's included

3 videos4 readings1 quiz

Textual Criticism is a form of reading that looks to explain the meaning of a text by figuring out aspects of its composition history. This module will show how Talmudic passages are typically constructed and what scholars can do to figure out the original meaning of a text.

What's included

3 videos4 readings1 quiz

The historical range of the different centuries of rabbinic literature makes it possible to take note of changes in the ways the different rabbis thought about the Bible and law. This module will demonstrate how later rabbis have a more abstract way of thinking about law while simultaneously having a more restrictive way of reading the Bible.

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 quiz

Rabbinic literature consists of multiple works in three genres—Midrash, Mishnah and Talmud. This module introduces each of these different genres with a comparative analysis of texts related to false testimony in works of each type.

What's included

4 videos5 readings1 quiz

The Talmud contains many stories that feature historical figures from the rabbinic period. In this module we will demonstrate the difficulty of reading these stories as history and model the use of literary tools for reading such materials.

What's included

3 videos4 readings1 quiz

While some of the material we have studied is unsettling, we need to bear in mind that much of it is rabbinic idealization or fantasy. This module goes through both the fantasy of rabbinic power and the realities of the importance of the Talmud in the post-Talmudic age.

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 quiz

Instructor

Instructor ratings
4.7 (66 ratings)
Barry Scott Wimpfheimer
Northwestern University
1 Course18,143 learners

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4.6

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Reviewed on Aug 28, 2017

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