The Jerusalem Talmud

The Oral Law, the Torah she’bal Peh, was formalized in the first centuries of the Common Era. Due to the Dispersion, two versions developed, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. They are related in subject matter and make reference to each other, but are substantially different in both content and style. Each reflected the discussions and traditions of the Rabbinic masters in Babylon and Eretz Yisrael respectively.

On account of currents of history, the Babylonian Talmud became the dominant version, and has represented the bedrock of Talmudic study through the ages. However, no less important, though less frequently studied, is its parallel, the Jerusalem Talmud.

In the book, Kol Ha’Tor, written by a disciple of the celebrated Vilna Gaon, the importance of studying the Jerusalem Talmud is emphasized. The author reports that the Vilna Gaon told him that in the initial stages of Messianic Redemption there would be a renewed interest in the study of both Kabala and the Jerusalem Talmud.

This phenomenon can already be seen. Yedid Nefesh seeks to expand what is happening throughout the Jewish world today by making the Jerusalem Talmud easily available to English-speaking students.


The Yedid Nefesh Edition

The Yedid Nefesh edition of the Jerusalem Talmud is a critical edition, with translation and commentary in English. The edition includes:

- The full text of the Jerusalem Talmud, entirely revised and corrected, printed with vowellization (nikud)
- Translation of the Jerusalem Talmud
- Explanation and commentary of the text, on a continuous basis
- Discussion of major issues, including presentation and summary of the opinions of the great Jewish commentators across the ages, comparison with the parallel discussions in the Babylonian Talmud, and a summary of Halachot (Rambam and Shulchan Aruch).

With Yedid Nefesh, the student ­ both advanced and regular ­ will be able to study and follow the crucial treatises of the Jerusalem Talmud. The edition he uses will be the very latest in textual accuracy and explanation. The entire text has been painstakingly revised.

In the style of the classic modern commentary on the Mishnayot by Rav Pinchas Kehati, Yedid Nefesh offers the translated text of the Jerusalem Talmud in bold text, each phrase being followed by an explanation, in clear, modern English. A more discursive discussion, together with halachic references, is to be found below.

See how a the pages look (mare' Hadaf)