Rabbinic Texts

University of Minnesota

Hebrew 3111 Rabbinic Texts

Winter, 1994

Professor Tzvee Zahavy


This course teaches the student how to undertake the critical study of selected Rabbinic texts. The course focuses on texts in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Midrash and the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds. The course introduces the student to the tools necessary for the study of these texts and guides the student in the explanation and analysis of selected pericopae.

Each student will be assigned specific texts from the tractate and prepare an explanation of the selection to be presented first in class and later in writing to the instructor.

The course will be conducted in three parts: lecture for all students enrolled, tutorials at the appropriate level, and Bet Medrash for collective and collegial study and preparation. Grading: ABCDF or S/N. S=C or better. No incompletes.

Main Texts--

Mishnah, Tosefta, Midrash and Talmud [photocopy]

Supplementary Readings:

J. Neusner, The Mishnah: Introduction and Reader

_____, Invitation to the Talmud

_____, Judaism: the Evidence of Mishnah

_____, Judaism: The Evidence of the Yerushalmi

_____, Judaism: The Classical Statement

T. Zahavy, The Traditions of Eleazar Ben Azariah

_____, The Mishnaic Law of Blessings and Prayers

_____, The Talmud of the Land of Israel: Berakhot

_____, The Talmud of Babylonia: Hullin. XXX.A and XXX.B

Also useful:

David Marcus, A Manual of Babylonian Jewish Aramaic, University Press of America

M.H. Segal, A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew, Oxford, 1927

Adin Steinsalz, The Talmud: the Steinsalz Edition, Random House

Textual and supplemental materials to be assigned as the course progresses will be available on reserve and for photocopying.