Jewish Law

Why You Should Study Talmud

Some perspective for beginners

The Tosafot

The Tosafists continued the conversation with their glosses on the text of the Talmud.

Rabbinic and Post-Rabbinic Divorce

Over time the rabbis increased the wife's power in a marriage, yet maintained the absolute right of the husband to grant a divorce.

Mitzvah: A Commandment

There are 613, not just 10, commandments, or mitzvot.

Geonic Responsa

The earliest exchange of halachic questions and answers.

The Geonic Period

During this time Babylonia was the spiritual and political center of Diaspora Jewry, and Jewish communities looked to the Geonim for authoritative teachings on halachic matters.

Judaism and the Other

The various ways Jewish law distinguishes between Jews and gentiles.

The Mishnah as a Response to Catastrophe

The Oral Torah reflects an attempt to create an eternal Judaism, unaffected by the setbacks that had afflicted the Jewish people in the preceding two centuries.

Moshe Feinstein

This 20th century Orthodox rabbi is best known for his responsa.

Early Medieval Halachic Texts

In the early Middle Ages, leading scholars across Europe and North Africa produced different genres of legal writings.

Rabbi Isaac Alfasi: Rif

A legal code for the Jews of medieval North Africa and Spain.

Moshe (Moses) Isserles: Rema

Rema's glosses emended and enhanced the Shulchan Aruch.