The Talmud is among the great books of wisdom--like the Bible, the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita--whose citation gives a speaker instant credibility. Also like the Bible, the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud is a powerful source of allusion in large part even though so few people have really read it. People don't read the Talmud because they think it's inaccessible--the sprawling collection of rabbinic writings is added to in each generation, and its significance is nothing less than the summary of Judaism. The best guide to the Talmud's labyrinthine form is Abraham Cohen's Everyman's Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages
--a monumental work of scholarly summary that describes all the basic doctrines of Judaism. Everyman's Talmud
includes concise chapters on everything from sin to superstitions to a Jew's duty to animals. You probably won't be able to read it straight through--doctrine, even elegantly distilled, is hard to take in big doses--but you'll be led back to it again and again, by questions that arise in daily life, at dinner parties, and from the pages of the daily newspaper. --Michael Joseph Gross
From the Inside Flap
"To some readers of this book, the Talmud represents little more than a famous Jewish book. But people want to know about a book that, they are told, defines Judaism. Everyman's Talmud
is the right place to begin not only to learn about Judaism in general but to meet the substance of the Talmud in particular. . . . In time to come, Cohen's book will find its companion-though I do not anticipate it will ever require a successor for what it accomplishes with elegance and intelligence: a systematic theology of the Talmud's Judaism."
--From the Foreword by Jacob Neusner
Long regarded as the classic introduction to the teachings of the Talmud, this comprehensive and masterly distillation summarizes the wisdom of the rabbinic sages on the dominant themes of Judaism: the doctrine of God; God and the universe; the soul and its destiny; prophesy and revelation; physical life; moral life and social living; law, ethics, and jurisprudence; legends and folk traditions; the Messiah and the world to come.