Texts: Books of the Jews

Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most prominent historical record of Jewish life in the Second Temple period. In the past century, scholars pieced together more than 900 documents that comprise this collection--mostly in Hebrew with a few in Aramaic and Greek--and concluded that they belonged to an ancient Jewish sect.

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Bible

Bible 101

Bible 101

An introduction to the Hebrew Bible, its contents, and its role in Jewish civilization.

Authorship

Is the Bible God's word?

Bible as Ancient Literature

How the Bible is similar to and different from other ancient Near Eastern literature.

Creating the Bible Canon

How the Bible became a closed corpus of literature.

Apocrypha

External texts from the Second Temple period.

Law

Talmud 101

Talmud 101

An overview of the Mishnah, Talmud, and other literature of the "oral Torah."

Mishnah

The Mishnah is Judaism's first major canonical document following the Bible.

Halakhic Texts 101

Since the Talmud, countless texts have been produced to analyze and codify Jewish law.

Sources and Development

Jewish law undergoes constant development.

Mishneh Torah

Maimonides' halakhic magnum opus.


Literature

Literature 101

Literature 101

Storytelling has always been an integral part of Jewish life.

Piyyutim

Poetry permeates the High Holiday liturgy.

Elie Wiesel

Holocaust survivor, novelist, memoirist, and Nobel laureate.

125 Books

Charting the landscape of American Jewish literature--125 books at a time.

The New Wave

In the second half of the 20th century, Israeli writers became a voice of critique and protest.

Commentaries

Rashi

Rashi

The virtue of the famous Bible commentary by Rashi lies in its diversity.

Isaac Abravanel

A Bible commentator in medieval Spain.

Nehama Leibowitz

A 20th-century educator who changed the face of Bible study.

Ramban

This Spanish Bible commentator earned a place alongside Rashi.

Commentaries on Rif

Alfasi's groundbreaking legal code invited criticism, defense, and supplementation.