R502 Early Rabbinic Judaism 2: The Talmud

Instructor:  Rabbi Joshua Brumbach
Location: https://mjti.populiweb.com
Dates: March 26–June 4, 2023; Spring Semester 2022–23

This course builds on R501, exploring the textual and cultural development of Rabbinic Judaism in its two centers: the Land of Israel and Babylonia. The class focuses on the Babylonian Talmud (Bavli) with an introduction to the Jerusalem Talmud, looking at the development, structure, content, and modes of halakhic analysis. The cultural characteristics of the network of rabbis in the Land of Israel and the rabbinic class in Babylonia are also discussed.

This is a Core Course for Master of Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Studies degrees.

Students who are familiar with the two Talmuds will be better equipped to reflect deeply on their relationship with Scripture and Jewish tradition, a reflection that is necessary in the development of a knowledgeable and integrated Messianic Jewish world view.

Completion of R501 Early Rabbinic Judaism 1, or permission from the instructor.

This is a live, online course. Students must have a computer and reliable internet access.

Online webinar and asynchronous online discussion.

Full participation in video conferences, online discussion threads, midterm exam, and a final paper.
Each week I may also assign each student the responsibility of presenting some of the day’s assigned reading to the class.


  • The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature. Eds. Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, 2007. (Also available for free online at Internet Archive – ww.archive.org)
  • Rubinstein, Jeffrey L. The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2003. (Also available for free online at Internet Archive – ww.archive.org)
  • Wimpfheimer, Barry Scott. The Talmud: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
  • Steinsaltz, Adin Even-Israel. Reference Guide to the Talmud, 2nd ed. Ed. Joshua Schreier. Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2014.
  • Steinsaltz, Adin. The Essential Talmud, 30th Anniv. ed. New York: Basic Books, 2006.


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