What the Rabbis Said
250 Topics from the Talmud
by Ronald L. Eisenberg
August 2010, 329pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38450-9
$75, £58, 66€, A103
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38451-6
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Ranging over a broad array of subjects, from religious traditions to directions for everyday living, the discussions of the talmudic rabbis have exerted a profound and lasting influence on the development of Judaism. What wisdom did these scholars share about love and justice, about arrogance and humility—and about such currently controversial issues as abortion and homosexuality?

This fascinating narrative illustrates and clarifies rabbinic views relating to more than 250 topics.

The Talmud has been a source of study and debate for well over a millennia. What the Rabbis Said: 250 Topics from the Talmud brings that discussion out of the yeshiva to describe and clarify the views of the talmudic rabbis for modern readers. Much more than a compilation of isolated rabbinic quotations, the book intersperses talmudic statements within the narrative to provide a thoroughly engaging examination of the rabbinic point of view.

Exploring the development of traditional Jewish thought during its formative period, the book summarizes the major rabbinic comments from the vast expanse of the Talmud and midrashic literature, demonstrating, among other things, that the rabbis often took divergent positions on a given issue rather than agreeing on a single “party line.” As it delves into such broad topics as God, the Torah, mitzvot, law and punishment, synagogue and prayer, and life-cycle events, What the Rabbis Said will help readers understand and appreciate the views of those who developed the rabbinic Judaism that persists to the present day.


  • Numerous endnotes provide a wealth of information for the scholarly reader without interrupting the flow of the text
  • A glossary of lesser-known terms facilitates understanding
Ronald L. Eisenberg, MD, JD, is associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and a staff radiologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. The author of more than 20 books in his medical specialty, Dr. Eisenberg has written five books in Judaica, including The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions, The 613 Mitzvot: A Contemporary Guide to the Commandments of Judaism, and Dictionary of Jewish Terms: A Guide to the Language of Judaism.
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