Notes for Religious Studies 369:

Introduction to Judaism


Rabbinic Judaism

The spoil of Jerusalem as depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome
The spoil of Jerusalem as depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome

With the fall of Jerusalem and the loss of the Temple, the Pharisaic leadership tried to adjust Judaism to the new reality.

Sadducees and Essenes are no longer heard from.

Generation of Yavneh (Jamnia):

The First Page of the Mishnah
according to the Kaufmann Manuscript
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
Names of teachers are highlighted in yellow

The first chapter of Pirke Avot according to the Kaufmann Manuscript


Year (C.E.)

Historical Events

Name of Rabbinic Period

Works of Rabbinic Literature

c. 50

Limited autonomy under Roman rule

Tanna'itic

Mishnah (halakhic)
Halakhic Midrash

70

Destruction of Second Temple

(Yavneh [=Jamnia]: Restoration of Jewish Religious Life.)

135

Bar Kokhba Revolt

(Usha: Transfer of religious centre from Judea to Galilee

 

 

 

 

c. 220

 

Start of Amoraic era

Palestinian ("Jerusalem") Talmud,

Aggadic Midrash

c. 320-375

Christianization of Roman Empire

 

c. 400

 

End of Amoraic era in the Land of Israel

c. 500

 

End of Amoraic era in Babylonia

Start of Savoraic Era

Babylonian Talmud

634

Muslim conquest of Babylonia

 

 

c. 700

 

End of Savoraic Era

Redaction of Babylonian Talmud

Manuscript of the Babylonian Talmud
Manuscript of the Babylonian Talmud


 

The Principal Genres of Rabbinic Literature:

 

Halakhah (Law)

Aggadah [=Haggadah] (Not Law: Does include: Biblical interpretation, ethical maxims, stories, folklore, etc.

Midrash (attached to Bible. Usually for traditions that were derived from the Bible.

Halakhic Midrash: [="Tannaitic Midrash"]: Commentaries to most of the Torah by the schools of Rabbi Akiba and Rabbi Ishmael

Aggadic midrash [almost entirely from the Amoraic period]

Mishnah (independent of the Bible. Useful for non-Biblical "Oral Law" traditions, enactments, etc.)

The Mishnah (by Rabbi Judah the Prince).
Tosefta

Very rare: e.g. Tractate Avot ("Ethics of the Fathers")

 

The Six Orders of the Mishnah:

Major Topics

1. Zera'im (Seeds):

2. Mo'ed (Times):

3. Nashim (Women):

4. Neziqin (Damages):

5. Qodashim (Sacred things):

6. Toharot (Purity):