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Difference Between Talmud and Torah

Talmud vs Torah

Talmud and Torah: What’s the real difference?

Non-Jewish people may be confused between these two important words in Jewish history: the Talmud and the Torah. It sounds vaguely the same, and may sound like they stem from the same concept, when, in fact, these are two very different things.

The Talmud is the most vital manuscript of the conventional Judaism religion. It is literally the Hebrew word for “learning.” It is sometimes referred to as the six orders of the Mishnah. The Talmud contains the history of the Jewish religion plus their laws and beliefs. It is the basic tool for learning the ethics behind the customs of their religion.

Torah, on the other hand, is the Hebrew word for “instruction.” The Torah is most widely known as the five books of Moses. Another word for Torah is “Pentateuch” which is more widely used in some Jewish nations. Like the Talmud, it is also a very religious manuscript. They both contain religious writings important to the Jewish community. The Torah is basically the Hebrew Bible because it contains the 613 commandments. The Torah is the whole context of Jewish laws and traditions.

Some people may say that the Torah is the Old Testament. To the Jewish people, the concept of the Old Testament is not widely used. It is, in fact, unfamiliar for them. There is also no such thing as the New Testament in the scriptures of the Jews. The books that Christians call the New Testament are not part of their scriptures. “Tanakh” is the Jewish term for the written Old Testament. Most of the people from reading the definitions of the Talmud and Torah find it hard to distinguish between the two Jewish concepts. The key difference is that the Torah mainly describes the initial five chapters of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). To make it simpler, the Torah comprises the whole Jewish law and tradition. Under Jewish beliefs, Moses received the Torah via a written text alongside an oral version or commentary. This oral section is now what the Jews call the Talmud. The Talmud depicts the primary codification (by Rabbi Judah the Prince) of the Jewish decrees.

The oral Torah, or the Talmud, explains the meaning behind the written texts so it is easier for the people to apply them in their daily lives. The scriptures are a vital part of how they should live. They then compiled all the oral traditions and called it the Mishnah. Over the years, more commentaries are added to the Mishnah which they call the Gemara. There are two kinds of Talmud. These are called the Babylonian Talmud (the more complete one and more widely used) and the Jerusalem Talmud.

The Jewish law being practiced by modern Jews is mostly from the Torah. A lot of people actually say that the Torah is the most important reference in the Jewish community. Although, they still base some of their practices in Rabbinic Judaism on the Talmud.

To put it even simpler, the commentary of the sages, including their writings within the debate between them about the Torah, is what we now call the Talmud, and this is to help people follow the rules of the Torah.

Summary:

1.The Talmud is the most vital manuscript of the conventional Judaism religion.

2.It is the basic tool for learning the ethics behind the customs of their religion.

3.The Torah is most widely known as the five books of Moses.

4.The Torah is the whole context of Jewish laws and traditions.

5.There is also no such thing as the New Testament in the scriptures of the Jews.

6.Moses received the Torah via a written text alongside an oral version or commentary.

7.This oral section is now what the Jews call the Talmud.


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5 Comments

  1. Read the plot against Christianity by Elizabeth Dillinger.Eye opening!

  2. The Torah– the five books of Moses– is not just “also” a holy book like the Talmud. It is the core around which the Talmud is constructed, and the hours that Jews spend studying the Talmud are spent only because the Talmud is considered a necessary guide to understanding what the Torah says.

  3. Your statement:
    “The Talmud is the most vital manuscript of the conventional Judaism religion.” perfectly examples the problem.
    On one hand, the Talmud is a great document for study of the Jewish history. On the other hand, the Talmud has become a man created idol of sorts for much of the Jewish nation. (Ps 115:4 & Ez14:3 & 4)
    1) The concept that “Moses received the Torah via a written text alongside an oral version or commentary.” was a premise created by the Pharisees. There is no verse within the Torah let alone the entire Tanakh that supports that premise.

    2) The original Mishnah (commentaries on the Torah also called “The traditions of the Elders”) was lost with the destruction of 2nd Temple in 70 ce. The basis for the current Talmud was a Rabbi putting things back together from memory and other commentaries of the original Mishnah. Then the Gemara (more commentaries on the second Mishnah commentaries) was added to create the Talmud of today. And all of this was done after multiple generations had past from the 2nd Temples destruction.

    My opinion:
    Judaism has spent too much time studying the Talmud and not enough time studying the Torah for them selves. Not that debate and even documentation of those debates about an original document (the Torah) are not good for review. But why would anyone want to revere and follow the commentaries of a document rather than the document it self? The Talmud has created more traditions of man and enslaved the Jewish nation more (Their minds and hearts) than was the case of their lives in Egypt their physical bodies).

    Why to you think the The Prophets so excoriated the Hebrew nation for leaving what was to be their First Love, Yahweh ? It wasn’t because they did follow the Talmud.

    What is the problem that the 10 lost tribes have ? It is not that they are not following the Talmud.

    How did Yahweh show Himself to Israel ? Through His Torah. Not the Talmud. Again historically the Talmud is a great document, but it is a work of mens hands and thus enslaves those who idolize it.

    Suggested reading:
    Salmon ben Yeruham (10th century), book “Sefer Milhamot YHWH”

  4. Laurie, the author is Dilling, not Dillinger. And it’s nice to know you recommend a book that is also endorsed by David Duke.

    • just because duke endorses it means nothing other than you fear what it contains…wait let me see…we are all anti semitic right? That no longer works….the world is finding out :)

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