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 ecomics, 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.
Michael Chernick is Deutch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice, Hebrew Union College -- Jewish Institute of Religion.