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According to a note of Tanḥuma ben Abba (of the latter part of the 4th cent.) on Cant. 26-36, Cincinnati, 1904, where the word is shown to have been used for "Talmud" from the geonic period (see also idem, "Die Terminologie der Amoräer," pp. The later editions of the Talmud frequently substitute for the word "Gemara" the abbreviation (Aramaic, = "the six orders of the Mishnah"), which has come to be, with the pronunciation "Shas," a popular designation for the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud, however, was not an independent work; and it was this characteristic which constituted the chief difference between it and the earlier subjects of study of the tannaitic period. From the time when the priests go in to eat their leaven [see Lev. 7] until the end of the first watch of the night, such being the words of R. The Aramaic portion consequently comprises all that is popular in origin or content.
The Haggadah (plural, "Haggadot") lost its importance as an individual branch of study in the academies, although it naturally continued to be a subject of investigation, and a portion of it also was included in the Talmud. The amount of text on each page of the editions, however, varies greatly on account of the varying length of the commentary of Rashi and the tosafot which accompany it; but the number of leaves shows the comparative lengths of the several treatises. Babli thus contains but one treatise each of the first and sixth orders; of the second, Sheḳalim (see above) is lacking; and there is no Talmud on 'Eduyot or Abot either in Babli or Yerushalmi. These sayings, which are frequently linked together by the name of their common transmitter as well as by that of their author, were evidently taught in this connected form in the academies, thus finding their way into the appropriate passages of the Talmudic text. The contents of the Talmud—this term being restricted to Babli, although much which applies to it holds true of Yerushalmi as well—fall into the two main divisions of Halakah and Haggadah. In the third place, the noun "talmud" has the meaning which alone can be genetically connected with the name "Talmud"; in tannaitic phraseology the verb "limmed" denotes the exegetic deduction of a halakic principle from the Biblical text (for examples see R. The Midrash is devoted to Biblical exposition, the result being the Halakah (comp. Although many members of the academie—sthe great as well as the small, teachers as well as pupils—are mentioned as the authors of various sayings and decisions, and as taking part in the discussions and controversies, some of them being deemed scholars worthy of record on account of a single remark, the background of the Talmud, or rather the background for those elements regarding whose authorship statements are made, was formed by the united efforts of those who labored to produce that work. 86a) that at Sura a certain interpretation was given in the name of Ḥisda and at Pumbedita in that of Kahana. Thus the amora Mordecai said to Ashi: "Thou teachest thus; but we teach differently" (Men. These are introduced by such formulas as "And if you will say (), referring to other authorities, or "There are those who say," or "There are those who teach," and similar phrases. the passages in Yerushalmi in which [= "here"] refers to Tiberias, and those in Babli in which the same word denotes Sura [Lewy, l.c. In the second half of the third century Babylonian students sought the Palestinian schools with especial frequency, while many pupils of Johanan went during the same period to Babylon; and in the troublous days of the fourth century many Palestinian scholars sought refuge in the more quiet regions along the Euphrates. Jonah's son Mani, one of the scholars most frequently named in Yerushalmi, seems, after studying at Cæsarea, where noteworthy scholars were living in the fourth century, to have raised the school of Sepphoris to its highest plane; and a large number of the sayings of the "scholars of Cæsarea" was included in Yerushalmi (see "Monatsschrift," 1901, pp. The only other halakist of importance among the Palestinian amoraim is Jose b. There are, however, allusions, although they are only sporadic, which show that the Halakah and the Haggadah were committed to writing; for copies were described as being in the possession of individual scholars, who were occasionally criticized for owning them. Replying to the scholars of Kairwan, Sherira Gaon in his letter (ed. 51), would show that the scholars of the geonic period actually knew the work by heart. 70a), entered sentences, some of them halakic in character, indicate that such personal copies were frequently used, while the written Haggadah is repeatedly mentioned. The two terms are contrasted differently, however, in the tannaitic saying (B. 130b), "The Halakah [the principles guiding decisions in religious law] may not be drawn from a teaching of the master ["talmud"] nor be based upon an act of his ["ma'aseh"], unless the master expressly declare that the teaching or act under consideration is the one which is applicable to the practise."In the second place, the word "talmud"—generally in the phrase "talmud lomar"—is frequently used in tannaitic terminology in order to denote instruction by means of the text of the Bible and of the exegetic deductions therefrom. Of the terms, therefore, denoting the three branches into which the study of the traditional exegesis of the Bible was from earliest times divided by the Tannaim (see iii. Bible Exegesis), "midrash" was the one identical in content with "talmud" in its original sense, except that the Midrash, which includes any kind of Biblical hermeneutics, but more especially the halakic, deals with the Bible text itself, while the Talmud is based on the Halakah. The Talmud is really the work of the body of scholars in the academies, who devoted themselves to it generation after generation, and kept its traditions alive. 31b); while many other instances are cited by Lewy (l.c.). Particularly interesting are the cases in which a divergent account is presented before Ashi, and thus before the one who projected the definitive redaction of the Talmud, Ashi appearing in all these cases as representing the version first given. In addition to such statements, which are ascribed to members of the Babylonian academies, and which indicate divergencies in amoraic tradition, the extant text of the Talmud contains also a number of othervariants, which are included without such statements. It may be postulated, on the whole, that the Palestinian Talmud received its present form at Tiberias, and the Babylonian Talmud at Sura (comp. Many prominent Babylonian scholars settled permanently in Palestine, and many eminent Palestinians sojourned in Babylon for some time, or even for a considerable portion of their lives. The mnemonics ascribed to him in the Talmud (see J. The work itself contains neither statements nor allusions to show that any complete or partial copy of the work redacted and completed by Ashi and Rabina had been made in their days; and the same lack of information characterizes both Yerushalmi and the Mishnah (the basis of both the Talmudim), as well as the other works of the tannaitic period. The statement that the exilarch Naṭronai (8th cent.), who emigrated to Spain, wrote a copy of the Talmud from memory (see Brüll, "Jahrb." ii. If this brief sketch of the Talmud as regards its halakic contentsbe supplemented by the statement that the sayings of the several amoraim as well as the opposing views of their contemporaries and the members of the academies, whether teachers or pupils, are frequently recorded in connection with the report of the discussions of the academies, a more complete view of the nature of the Talmud and a better conception of its form may be gained. The real framework of the Talmud, however, on which the entire structure was built, was, as noted above, provided by the questions, comments, and discussions which are based on individual paragraphs of the Mishnah, and which are anonymous, or not ascribed to any author. To comprehend why only practically a single Talmud was produced, despite the various academies, the great number of authoritative transmitters of the mass of material, and the number of generations that collaborated on the work, it must be borne in mind that there was a continual interchange of ideas between the academies, and that the numerous pupils of the successive generations who memorized the Talmud, and perhaps committed at least a part of it to writing, drew from a single source, namely, the lectures of their masters and the discussions in the academies; further, that, since the work on the Talmud was continued without interruption along the lines laid down by the first generation of amoraim, all succeeding generations may be regarded as one body of scholars who produced a work which was, to all intents and purposes, uniform. Lewy assumes, probably with correctness, that in the case of Yerushalmi the treatise Neziḳin (the three treatises Baba Ḳamma, Baba Meẓi'a, and Baba Batra) was taken from a redaction differing from that of the other treatises. Their views are frequently contrasted in the form of controversies; but on the other hand they are often mentioned as the common authors of sentences which were probably transmitted by certain pupils who had heard them from both masters. Ezekiel, when asked to explain some of the more obscure portions of the Mishnah, subsequently alluded plaintively to the "hawayyot" of Rab and Samuel, meaning thereby the questions and comments of the two masters on the entire Mishnah (Ber. In like manner, scholars of the fourth century spoke of the hawayot of Abaye and Raba, which formed, as it were, the quintessence of the Talmud, and which, according to an anachronistic addition to an old baraita, were even said to have been included in the branches of knowledge familiar to Johanan b. All the six orders of the Mishnah were then studied, as is statedby Raba (not Rabba; see Rabbinovicz, "Diḳduḳe Soferim," on Ta'anit, p. 106b; Raba's pupil Pappa expresses a similar view in Ber. Rab's activity marks the culmination of the work on the Talmud. 352), whom he survived but four years, expressed the task of the epigoni in the following words (Pes. 134), however, constitute only a very small part of the simanim included in the text of that work. 427), who during his long period of activity infused fresh life into the Academy of Sura.