Let My People Know

"The Talmud was never closed"


The impact of the Talmud upon the Jewish people has been immeasurable. 

Throughout the generations, Jewish education demanded considerable knowledge of the Talmud, which functioned as the basic text of study for all. 

Indeed, much of post-talmudic Jewish literature consists of commentaries, reworkings, and new presentations of the Talmud. 

Even those areas that were not directly related to the Talmud drew upon it and were sustained by it, and there is hardly a work in any area of Judaism that does not relate to it.

Of even greater significance than this was the methodological influence of the study of the Talmud. 

In the opinion of virtually every modern scholar, "the Talmud was never closed"—not only in the historical-factual sense, but also with regard to the manner of its understanding and study. 

The method of Talmud study was an extension of the Talmud itself.

Its interpretation and analysis required the student continually to involve himself in the discussion, to evaluate its questions and argumentation. 

As a result, abstract reasoning and the dialectic method became an integral part of the Jewish culture.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay, "Talmud" p. 83 in The Strife of the Spirit by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz