"The Talmud is like a GPS for religious Jews," says Rabbi Philip Moskowitz, assistant spiritual leader of the Boca Raton Synagogue, where a couple of dozen members have pored over the pages every day at 7 a.m. "Pretty much everything we do in a practical way comes from its pages."
"In fact, the Talmud is like handwritten version of the Internet, featuring freewheeling discussions of countless subjects, and filled with colorful tales. These include stories about the lives of the Talmudic teachers themselves, described with wonderful detail and insight."
"Dealing with Talmud is like doing psychoanalysis. At least you're beginning to understand what you are," he said. "No part of Jewish culture, on any level, is without some sort of connection to the Talmud."
"To give a secular comparison, the written Torah is like written statute law, while the Talmud is more like a collection of case law and law review articles; the comparison to The Common Law is apt, as the Oral Torah operates much like the American legal system in that precedent is usually followed unless there is a reason in the Torah to arrive at a different conclusion."
"A page of the Talmud is like a layer cake of Jewish arguments, with the original Torah verse at the center, the original criticisms written around it, and centuries of further criticisms going around that in a crazed spiral. "
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