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Talmud and Talmudic Commentary

General Talmudic Study

Abrams, Judith. Talmud for Beginners. 3 vols (Part I and II). Jason Aaronson, New York. 1991 and 1993. [Selections of Jewish Book Club, designed as "pre-Steinsaltz", i.e., introduction to Talmud for those with no background in it at all.]:

Abrams, Judith Z. Learn Talmud: How to Use the Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition. Jason Aronson; 1995. Paperback. ISBN 1-568214-63-4.
[Buy at Amazon:]

Cohen, A. Everyman's Talmud. Dutton, New York. 1948. (hardback) Schocken, New York. 1975. (paperback). Schocken Books; 1995. Paperback. ISBN 0-805210-32-6.
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Mielzner, Moses. Introduction to the Talmud. Bloch Pub Co; 1968. Hardcover. ISBN 0-819711-56-4.
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Steinsaltz, Adin. Essential Talmud. Basic Books; 1984. Paperback reprint edition. ISBN 0-465020-63-1.
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Strack, Herman L.; Stemberger, Gunter; Bockmuehl, Markus (trans). Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. Fortress Pr; 1992. Paperback. Reprint edition. ISBN 0-800625-24-2. [The classic work on the field. Not for beginners; for those interested in a more historical and critical study of Talmud and Midrash.]
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Talmud/Talmud Commentary

Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud. Talmud Bavli. Available in Hebrew or English. Artscroll Press. [Artscroll has some highly recommended series on Talmud. One contributer to the list said: "The only reason [I] cannot say that the Artscroll texts are ``head and shoulders'' above the rest is that the others do not come up to Artscroll's shoulders. The translation and commentary are so superior to others such as Soncino as to make it no comparison."]
[Buy at Artscroll:]

Bialik, Hayyim Nahman (ed); Ravnitzky, Yehoshua Hana (ed). The Book of Legends Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash. Schocken Books; 1992. Hardcover. ISBN 0-805241-13-2.
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Bleefeld, Bradley N. (ed); Shook, Robert L. Saving the World Entire: And 100 Other Beloved Parables from the Talmud. Plume Books; 1998. Paperback. ISBN 0-452279-88-7.
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Cohen, Abraham; Neusner, Jacob. Everyman's Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages. Schocken Books; 1995. Paperback. Reprint edition. ISBN 0-805210-32-6.
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Olitzky, Kerry M. (ed); Kravitz, Leonard S. (trans). Pirke Avot: A Modern Commentary on Jewish Ethics. Union of American Hebrew Congregations; 1998. Paperback. ISBN 0-807404-80-2.
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Rabinowich, N.D. The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon. Ahavath Torah Institute-Moznaim Press, Brooklyn NY. 1988. [Written in Aramaic in 4747 (987 CE), it is a history of the mesorah from Sinai until his day. Translated into both Hebrew and English]

Shapiro, Rami M. Wisdom of the Jewish Sages: A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot. Bell Tower; 1995. Hardcover. Reissue edition. ISBN 0-517799-66-9.
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Steinsaltz, Adin. The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition. Random House. 18 Volumes + Reference Guide. [In the middle of each page is the Hebrew and Aramaic text, with vowels, and all abbreviations are fully spelled out. On the upper right is a literal translation, while on the left side of the page is an in-depth translation and commentary; It's like having your own private Talmud teacher. There are special sections on terminology, history, geography and biographical backgrounds. Each volume has over twice the explanation and commentary as the Artscroll edition, meaning that it more expensive, as you need to buy twice as many volumes if you want to cover the same amount of material.]

[Got Questions?]Our goal is to keep this list useful for its readers. To that end, suggestions of books to add to the list are always welcome. In your suggestion, please be as complete as possible; we need author, title, publisher, publishing date, and ISBN number. We also welcome a one paragraph short summary of why the book is of interest. Please send your suggestions to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2001 Daniel P. Faigin <>