Candlelighters

a place for women who cherish the Torah ~

What’s the difference between Talmud, Mishnah, and Torah?

All these different terms do get confusing!  Here is how Judaism defines them:

Talmud
Orthodox Jews believe that G-d gave Moses additional instructions that were not written down.  Another name for the Talmud is the Oral Torah.  When, in the 2nd century, these laws were finally written, the document became known as the Mishnah.  The next few centuries added some commentary – this additional commentary is the Gemara.  The Mishnah + the Gemara = the Talmud.
There are actually two versions of the Talmud – the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud.  Since the Babylonian Talmud is more extensive, it is to this version that people refer when speaking generally of “the Talmud.”
While the Talmud does provide valuable insight from thousands of years of sages, it is not Scripture.  It is not infallible, and it is not a law we MUST follow.  But it makes a very interesting read!

Mishnah
See above.  The Mishnah is the Talmud, written down.  It is divided into 6 sections, called sedarim (orders).  These are Zera’im (Seeds), Mo’ed (Festival), Nashim (Women), Nezikin (Damages), Kodashim (Holy Things), and Toharot (Purities).

Torah
I think we all know what the Torah is.  It is the inspired Word of G-d, given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The Torah encompasses the first five books of our Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (B’Reisheet, Shemot, Vayikra, B’Midbar, and D’varim).

2 Comments»

  Doreen wrote @

What about the Chumash and the Pentateuch?

  eshetkayil wrote @

Doreen: a Chumash is the Torah, but it includes the haftarah readings for each week (the specific sections of the Tanakh matched by the rabbis to each portion) and lots of commentary from the sages.

Pentateuch is the Greek term for the Torah.


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