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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, accessible and extremely fascinating., 19 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
What an incredibly interesting book and very easy to understand! A really stimulating world to engage with and learn about, and one
I knew little about before hand. As it seemed a very academic book I wasn’t sure if I would find it too complex but it was fascinating, thought-provoking and accessible. Really interesting to realise the impact the Talmud has had on our current lives in ways I never realised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly AND entertaining, 30 July 2014
By 
Mr. L. Ross "Lionel Ross-Author" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
The term Biography is usually reserved to describe the life and achievements of a person. Here we have the biography of a book, or to be more accurate, a monumental series of books, THE TALMUD. However, I applaud the use of the word Biography in this case as, from its roots nearly two thousand years ago to the present day, it is the living breathing Talmud that has protected, stimulated, educated and provoked not only the Jewish people for whom it was intended, but much of mankind. It breathed strength into the Jews when they, not infrequently, experienced tragedy and persecution and enabled Judaism to grow and remain as vital today as it was many centuries ago. We owe a considerable debt of gratitude to Harry Freedman for writing this biography. It is a rare for the words ‘scholarly’ and ‘entertaining’ to be used about the same book but in this case they are both apt. I have heard the Torah described as the notes taken by Moses when he received the Bible from God and the Oral Law, which is the basis of the Talmud, as the original holy words, essays and discussions that took place after God’s lecture to clarify; elucidate and augment the way of life that is Judaism. Thanks to Harry Freedman, we can now learn how all this occurred.
Lionel Ross – Author & Publisher
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story behind the book, and quite interesting too, 27 Sept. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
Note: I was sent a review copy for evaluation, the opinion of the book is my own personal view

This book is exactly what it says on the cover, a biography and history of the numerous volumes of the Talmud, the Jewish commentaries on the Torah (basically, the Old Testament).
"They" were mostly Christians - there was an early dialogue with Islam, but Christianity was much less accommodating, seeking to convert Jews to Christianity by absorbing and destroying their religion.

While the Talmud itself is a work for scholars, some of whom devote their lives to interpreting it (not an easy task, given its length, complexity, apparent contradictions, and the fact that it's written in both Hebrew and Aramaic, with touches of Greek thrown in), this book is not - it's a clear exposition for the general reader with an interest in one of the most enduring works of world literature: Freedman acknowledges that most Jews won't have read the Talmud, or at least not much of it, and that must be even more true for non-Jews - the virtue of the Talmud though is that it's not written in linear form, so may be dipped into at any given point, allowing you to plunge into a dialogue which may be thousands of years old or hundreds, as if those participating in it actually lived at the same time - because that's the way it's written.

I knew very little about the Talmud before reading this book - wasn't even sure what it actually was - and to be honest had little interest in it. Freedman's book, though, has opened a window on another world; readable and engaging he manages to hold your attention throughout... and with a very useful glossary of terms, it's no less than the story of the Jewish people over thousands of years and well worth reading by anyone with even a passing interest in Judaism - or in people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars as you can better know what the book contains rather than being told, 3 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
I went into the reading of this book with minimal knowledge of the Jewish faith, and with zero knowledge of the Talmud. Even though at the start of the book it says you don't require knowledge of the Talmud to be able to read this book. I do think that previous knowledge of the Talmud and what it has been through would make the read more interesting, as you can better know what the book contains rather than being told.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed reading and found the content of the book fascinating. My previous (and basic knowledge of the Jewish faith, and the Talmud) has been vastly expanded. The book gives an in-depth look at the content and appearance of the Talmudic pages, with a detailed history about the book its self.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at a fascinating book, 19 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
This is a must read for anyone with an interest in Jewish history and culture. I was worried that this book might be too academic, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the writer approaches this important Jewish text with both clarity and insight, making it an ideal read for the layman and academic alike.

With its illuminating insights into the social and political history of the Talmud, this book demonstrates that the Talmud is so much more than just a religious text.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 19 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
This is a great introduction to the fascinating history surrounding the Talmud - how and when it came to be written and subsequently regarded by both religious communities and the secular world. It is packed with interesting insights; and Dr Freedman's style makes it an easy read. A real treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and readable introduction, 1 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Talmud A Biography (Hardcover)
An extremely well-written interesting and readable introduction to a highly complex subject
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The Talmud  A Biography
The Talmud A Biography by Harry Freedman (Hardcover - 27 Feb. 2014)
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