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Wisdom of the Talmud  By  cover art

Wisdom of the Talmud

By: Ben Zion Bokser
Narrated by: Allen O'Reilly
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Publisher's Summary

This is a highly comprehensive introduction to the Talmud, the age-old storehouse of Jewish wisdom. Bokser covers the long history of the Talmud, from its origin in the Babylonian exile, its growth through the five centuries after the Roman destruction of the Temple, and the later persecution of the Talmud. The book covers a number of high-level topics, including social ethics and personal morality, with numerous examples from the Talmud. Ben Zion Bokser was one of the major Conservative rabbis of America. He stressed the Rabbinic sages and the Talmud as the source of Judaism. "This is not an uncommon impression and one finds it sometimes among Jews as well as Christians - that Judaism is the religion of the Hebrew Bible. It is, of course, a fallacious impression. Judaism is not the religion of the Bible." Bokser affirms revelation, but revelation is always framed in humans by man. "Man receives a divine communication when the divine spirit rests on him, but man must give form to that communication."

©1951 Philosophical Library (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Wisdom of the Talmud

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bad narration can ruin a book

The book is okay, but the volume is ruined by a narrator who is not familiar with the subject matter: many of the Hebrew words, surnames, places, holiday names, etc. were horribly mispronounced.

16 people found this helpful

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Very introductory: nice as far as it goes, but ...

I am not Jewish. However, my scholarly interests mix so often with Jewish history that some closer, focused look at it was inevitable. As a first introduction to some of the history and background, this work is satisfactory. However, I just bought an actual volume of Talmud and it is a large and complex work, not thoroughly described or demonstrated in this audio. As a legal scholar, I can now see what people are referring to with their common aphorisms about the detail of Talmudic scholarship. I guess all this indicates I am growing more scholarly, and I'm seldom satisfied with a "lite" version of anything anymore. That is not the author's fault here; I think, given the length and scope of this presentation, the author did fine work. But anyone with a serious curiosity about the Talmud might quickly survey this and move on.

10 people found this helpful

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Hard to follow, rapid-fire narration

There's not much of a story and the narration is so swift that it would be hard to follow even if there was. Seems like this was edited to be obscure and usable as Cliff Notes and only to those already intimately familiar with the subject. It could have been made better by the narrator taking a breath and using more inflection to decompress the dense material being covered. In short, it was a disappointment.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent Text, Hebrew Pronunciation Poor

This is an exceptional text for even the lay learner of Talmud. The pronunciation of the included Hebrew terms is poor but intelligible. Don’t let the introduction throw you off of the rest.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting and well written

Interesting and well written. I didn't intend to take notes when I started, but I ended up repeatedly pressing pause and or rewind to take notes.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent work, poorly read.

The reader mispronounced many terms and names. He obviously had no background in the subject. Excellent work however.

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not as complete as I would have liked

Not as complete a reading of the Talmud as i expected. Many mispronounced Hebrew words. There seem have been numerous audio edits that were not cleanly done. But informative none the less.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible Narration!

This guy sounds like an addled half-literate with a gun to his head. He manges sentences such that even repeated listening results in no comprehensibilty. And dear lord was there not a Jew within 100 miles who could tell this poor man how to pronounce the most basic Hebrew words?!? Gaffes like "Immorality" for "Immortality" abound.
Most of the stuff is fine info for people who no nothing of the Talmud but I can't recommend it because of the really 4th rate narration.

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A Psychology to help those suffering from a poverty mindset!

Guide to intellectual “fasting!”

Shift in perspective to a more functional and determine set of principles!

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Hard to follow

I was more than a little frustrated with how this reader was reading. He sounded anxious to get through the text, reading quickly, often in monotone.

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  • That Man
  • 03-23-22

Sub-par production (to put it politely)

As part of my recent foray into Judaism, I listened to a general introductory book on Judaism itself (excellent), and moved on to the Torah (excellent), intending to look at the Talmud and then the Kaballah (excellent). For the Talmud, this book was the wrong choice.

I really tried. I persevered most of the way through. But it was just so irritating.

As an introduction to the Talmud, I found it got bogged down in the minutiae of Jewish history, with the result that I still have no idea what the distinction is between the Torah and the Talmud.

Don't get me started on the narration! I was out of breath as I listened, so most of it went over my head. And did you know that there are two additional books in the Bible that most people are not aware of? Apparently, we have "Deuteromony" and "Deuteromody". I actually became embarrassed for the narrator. We also had "antidotes", telling of the escapades of various rabbis ...

This guy should definitely not give up his day job (whatever that might be), and the audio editor at Audible should ask her/himself whether they are in the right role. Added to all that, the 'stitching' of the sequential recorded sessions was horrendous, with frequent gaps and repetitions.

This was not one of Audible's finest moments, and I would recommend quietly retiring this title.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-13-22

would recommend

gives a good insight to the Talmud. would read before and after reading the talmud

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-17

Waaaaaaay too fast

Narrated so fast it is impossible to consider the words and the words within the sentence. Pauses are nearly nil. Needed to rewind frequently, really unfortunate it wasn't checked prior to release.
Audiobooks are meant to be relaxing, not hurried and rushed.