Broadly, Jewish Tradition states that the Talmud was given orally to Moses along with the ten commandments. This is not at all the impression you get while reading selections of this work - internally it rarely represents itself as anything but the opinions of various scholars collected.

Browsing through selections of the Babylonian Talmud can be an astonishing experience for first time readers. You seem to find a mix of profundity, foolishness, wisdom, quibbling over words, and things you always suspected about religion but never expected them to admit.

From Tractate Pessahim, concerned chiefly with Passover, comes the following: SAID Rab to Rabbi Assi: Dwell not in a town where no horses neigh, and no dogs bark. And dwell not in a town whose head is a physician. And marry not two women; but if you have married two, marry a third.

Translated by LEO AUERBACH

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