No work has informed Jewish life and history more than the Talmud. This unique and vast collection of teachings and traditions contains within it the intellectual output of hundreds of Jewish sages who considered all aspects of an entire people's life from the Hellenistic period in Palestine (c. 315 B.C.E.) until the end of the Sassanian era in Babylonia (615 C.E.). This volume adds the insights of modern talmudic scholarship and criticism to the growing number of more traditionally oriented works that seek to open the talmudic heritage and tradition to contemporary readers. These central essays provide a taste of the myriad ways in which talmudic study can intersect with such diverse disciplines as economics, history, ethics, law, literary criticism, and philosophy.
Contributors: Baruch Micah Bokser, Boaz Cohen, Ari Elon, Meyer S. Feldblum, Louis Ginzberg, Abraham Goldberg, Robert Goldenberg, Heinrich Graetz, Louis Jacobs, David Kraemer, Geoffrey B. Levey, Aaron Levine, Saul Lieberman, Jacob Neusner, Nahum Rakover, and David Weiss-Halivni.
"For the general reader, and the ever-burgeoning number of students in Jewish studies programs, the Essential Papers series brings together a wealth of core secondary material, while the commentaries offered by the editors aim to place this material in critical comparative context." --Jewish Journal of Sociology