The Talmud—the massive, comprehensive work studied and expounded on by traditional Jews for nearly 2,000 years—is the core of rabbinic Judaism. It records discussions by thousands of rabbis over hundreds of years on Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs, lore, and history. Unlike other Talmudic dictionaries, Find It in the Talmud is written especially for the English speaker not fluent in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Calling itself “an encyclopedia of Jewish ethics and conduct,” it is also a concordance, using the traditional citation system of tractate and page number. More than 6,000 concepts and terms are listed alphabetically in English with the location, and (usually) the original translation. Many entries include a definition, explanation, or allegory. Examples include “Be accurate: R. Gamliel said: ‘Do not estimate, do not guess, but be accurate.’ (Avot 1:16)”; and “Yavne: There were four people in Yavne who could speak seventy languages. (Sanhedrin 17b).” The introduction and later sections provide overviews of the order and development of the Talmud and its major personalities, expressions, and abbreviations. Judovits, a retired businessman and long-time Talmud student, includes endorsements for his work from local rabbis and scholars.
Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
This review appears in the January 2015 issue of CHOICE Magazine