Sages of the Talmud

The Lives, Sayings and Stories of 400 Rabbis

By Mordechai Judovits

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 138


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by Mordechai Judovits
Hardcover, 345 pages
ISBN 13: 978-965-524-035-1
publication: 2010
Sages of the Talmud is a collection of biographical information about the authors of the Talmud. It contains about four hundred entries and hundreds of anecdotes about the sages, all as recorded in the Talmud itself. An indispensable book for the student of the Talmud, it is not only an excellent practical reference guide, but also a text of general interest that may be read for enjoyment. This reference work cites the source of each quotation in the Talmud. The fascinating anecdotes and stories give readers an idea of the kind of social environment in which the sage lived. The work also includes an appendix with the corresponding general history of the time so that the reader can understand the contemporary political climate.
In the Talmud, several sages share the same name. This can be confusing to students, who wonder which rabbi made a particular statement. The author removes this confusion by linking each story and citation to the correct talmudic sage. Although the names of the sages sometimes appear close to one another in the Talmud, they did not necessarily live in the same time period - some lived hundreds of years apart. The book clarifies important questions, including the period of time in which the sages lived, who their teachers or significant colleagues were, and the house of study or city associated with them.
About the author:
Mordechai Judovits is a long time student of the Talmud, a retired businessman and a Holocaust survivor. He is the grandson of Rabbi Moshe Paneth, the rabbi of Dej, and a great-grandson of Yechezkel Paneth, the author of Sefer Mareh Yechezkel and former chief Rabbi of Transylvania. Mordechai Judovits attended the yeshivot headed by his cousins, first at the yeshiva of Rabbi Elisha Horowitz and later at the yeshiva of Rabbi Yaakov Meilach Paneth, who was also the chief rabbi of Dej.
The author, along with his parents, brothers and sister were carried away to Auschwitz in 1944. He was liberated in 1945 and in 1947 he immigrated to the USA, where he married and raised a family. He and his wife Helen have two sons, one daughter, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Since retiring he has devoted his time to studying and writing, and has been active in many Jewish organizations, in particular the Boca Raton Synagogue.
Praise for Sages of the Talmud:
"Sages of the Talmud is a necessary book for every person, lay and scholar alike, who is interested in Talmud and Jewish history because it presents important data about the Talmudic sages in both an informative and enjoyable manner. Since the Talmud contains the views of rabbis who lived over a period of many centuries and since the Talmud mentions the teachings of these rabbis in its text in close proximity, many readers might mistakenly imagine that the sages knew one another. Judovits places the sages in the century in which they lived and describes the unique historical and social environments that prevailed in the days of each one. In addition, readers will find interesting revelations about the character traits of each sage and their accomplishments."
-Rabbi Dr. Israel Drazin, author of Maimonides: The Exceptional Mind and co-author of Onkelos on the Torah
"English-speaking students of rabbinic literature will be grateful for this comprehensive, easy-to-use guide, Sages of the Talmud. Mordechai Judovits, student of the Talmud, has produced an eminently useful reference tool for anyone interested in the biographies, maxims and historical context of the ancient rabbis whose teachings shaped Rabbinic Judaism."
-Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, author of American Judaism: A History