Rabbinic literature is called the “Oral Law,” because it is not found in the text of the Bible. It was preserved as oral statements that originated with the giving of the Torah and became the focus of study and deliberation throughout the generations. The Oral Law comprises explanations of biblical verses, ancient halakhic traditions not rooted in the text of the Bible, and rabbinic ordinances enacted throughout the generations. Since the scope of rabbinic literature is enormous, this work is limited to citing the Mishna, the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud, the minor tractates, and the aggadic Midrash – primarily Midrash Rabba and Midrash Tanhuma. The basis of this anthology is largely the aggadic material in the Talmud and in the various works of aggadic Midrash. The matters included here serve as commentary on the written Torah.
• Introductions and explanations that place talmudic and midrashic passages in context
• Talmudic discussions broken down to component parts to aid comprehension
• Full integration with other Concise Guide volumes
The Erez Series is comprised of the Concise Guides to the full gamut of Jewish thought, from the Torah to modern halakha (Jewish law) and Mahshava (Jewish philosophy). The late Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz zt”l was one of the leading thinkers of the modern age and the most prolific author of Jewish thought and commentary since the middle ages. The Erez Series distills the essence of 4 of the principal schools of the Jewish tradition Torah, the Sages (Hazal), Halakha, and Mahshava as a tool for review or introduction to the world of Jewish thought.