Talmud Abbreviations

Blaine Robison, M.A.

Published 2 October 2012; Revised 21 March 2018

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Overview

The Talmud ("teaching, learning, lesson, or study,") is an early Jewish work containing both Mishnah and Gemara. The Mishnah contains legal rulings and sayings of the Jewish Sages, known as Tannaim (pl. of Tanna, teacher). The Mishnaic period lasted 10220 A.D. The Mishnah generally reflects laws and traditions followed in the first century, although to what degree cannot be determined with certainty. The written Mishnah is believed to be the work of Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi between 180 and A.D. 220. The names of the Mishnaic Sages may be found here. The Mishnah was written primarily in Mishnaic Hebrew but with some Aramaic. The Gemara contains legal analysis, debate and commentary on the Mishnah by Jewish scholars, known a Amoraim (pl. of Amora, "interpreter"). The Gemara period occurred 220500 A.D. For more background information see the article The Beginnings of the Talmud at JewishHistory.org.

An important companion work to the Talmud is the Tosefta, a 2nd-3rd century collection of rabbinic material similar to the Mishnah, which acts as a supplement to the Mishnah (Tosefta means "supplement, addition"). The Tosefta closely corresponds to the Mishnah, with the same organization. It is mainly written in Mishnaic Hebrew, with some Aramaic. At times the text of the Tosefta agrees nearly verbatim with the Mishnah. At others there are significant differences. The Tosefta often attributes laws that are anonymous in the Mishnah to named authorities called Tannaim. It also augments the Mishnah with additional glosses and discussions. It offers additional aggadic and midrashic material, and it sometimes contradicts the Mishnah in the ruling of Jewish law, or in attributing in whose name a law was stated. See "Tosefta" in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

Organization

The Talmud is organized into 63 Tractates ("book") and further divided into six Sedarim ("order, division"). A Tractate is organized by chapters and folios. The Mishnah is always quoted according to Tractate, Chapter and Paragraph (labeled Mishnah), similar to Bible references. Thus, Ber. 2:4 means the Tractate Berakoth, second Chapter, fourth Paragraph marked "Mishnah." Gemara discussions follow Mishnah paragraphs and are quoted by folio number and part "a" or "b," such as Ber. 10a.

Versions

There is only one Talmud, but two separate versions were developed, one in the East in Babylonia where Jews still lived in exile, and the other in the Land of Israel. For the complete history of the Talmud see the article by Wilhelm Bacher in the Jewish Encyclopedia. The Babylonian Talmud (Heb. Talmud Bavli) dated c. 500 AD is the most complete version of the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud (English translation) with 63 Tractates may be found online at Halakah.com and at JewishVirtualLibrary.org, with the former being more complete and the latter including the Tosefta of the Sages.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Heb. Talmud Yerushalmi), also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud of the Land of Israel, is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the second-century Jewish Mishnah. Naming this version of the Talmud after the Land of Israel is considered more accurate because it mainly originates from the Galilee, since no Jews lived in Jerusalem at this time. The Jerusalem Talmud predates the Babylonian Talmud by at least 100 years (c. 400 AD) and is written primarily in Mishnaic Hebrew with some Jewish Aramaic. The legal analysis of the Jerusalem Talmud in contrast to its Babylonian counterpart tends to be brief and succinct. The Jerusalem Talmud with 39 Tractates in Hebrew with some English translation may be found online at Sefaria.org.

General Abbreviations

b.

ben (son of)

TB

Babylonian Talmud

G.

Gemara

TJ

Jerusalem Talmud

M.

Mishnah

Tos.

Tosephta

R.

Rab or Rabbi

 

 

Gen. R. Genesis Rabbah Ex. R. Exodus Rabbah
Lev. R. Leviticus Rabbah Num. R. Numbers Rabbah
Deut. R. Deuteronomy Rabbah    

Tractate Abbreviations

 

Name

Subject

Ab.

Aboth ("Avot")

Fathers

A. Zar

Abodah Zarah

Idolatry

Arak.

Arakhin

Vows of Valuation

B.B

Baba Bathra

The Last Gate

Bek.

Bekoroth (Bechoroth)

Firstlings

Ber.

Berakoth

Benedictions

Betz

Betzah (or Yom Tob)

Festival Days

Bikk.

Bikkurim

First Fruits

B.K.

Baba Kama

The First Gate

B.M.

Baba Metzia

The Middle Gate

Dem.

Demai

Doubtful (produce not tithed)

Eduy.

Eduyoth

Testimonies

Erub.

Erubin

The Fusion of Sabbath Limits

Gitt.

Gittin

Bills of Divorce

Hag.

Hagigah

The Festal Offering

Hall.

Hallah

Dough Offering

Hor.

Horayoth

Instructions

Hull.

Hullin

Animals Killed for Food

Kel.

Kellim

Vessels

Ker.

Kerithoth

Extirpation

Ket./Keth.

Ketubot/Kethuboth

Marriage Deeds

Kidd.

Kiddushin

Betrothals

Kil.

Kilayim

Diverse Kinds

Kinn.

Kinnim

The Bird Offering

Maas.

Maaseroth

Tithes

Makk.

Makkoth

Stripes

Maksh.

Makshirin

Predisposers

Meg.

Megillah

The Scroll of Esther

Meil.

Meilah

Sacrilege

Men.

Menahoth

Meal Offerings

Midd.

Middoth

Measurements

Mikv.

Mikvaoth

Immersion-Pools

M. Kat.

Moed Katan

Mid-Festival Days

M. Sh.

Maaser Sheni

Second Tithe

Naz.

Nazir

The Nazarite Vow

Neg.

Negaim

Leprosy (skin disorders)

Ned.

Nedarim

Vows

Nidd.

Niddah

The Menstruant

Ohol.

Oholoth

Tents

Orl.

Orlah

The Fruit of Young Trees

Par.

Parah

The Red Heifer

Peah

Peah

Corner (gleanings of the field)

Pes.

Pesahim or Pesachim

Paschal Lambs (Passover)

R.H.

Rosh ha-Shanah

New Year

Sanh.

Sanhedrin

Court of Justice

Shab.

Shabbath

The Sabbath

Shebi

Shebiith

The Seventh Year

Shebu.

Shebuoth

Oaths

Shek.

Shekalim

Shekels (temple tax)

Sot.

Sotah

Suspected Adulteress

Sukk.

Sukkah

Feast of Tabernacles

Taan.

Taanith

Days of Fasting

Teb. Y.

Tebul Yom

He that immersed himself that day

Tam.

Tamid

The Daily Whole Offering

Tem.

Temurah

The Substituted Offering

Ter.

Terumoth

Heave Offerings

Toh.

Tohoroth

Cleannesses

Uktz.

Uktzin

Stalks

Yad.

Yadaim

Hands (washing)

Yeb.

Yebamoth

Sisters-in-Law

Yom.

Yoma

The Day of Atonement

Zab.

Zabim

They that suffer a flux

Zeb.

Zebahim

Animal Offerings

 

Copyright 2012-2018 Blaine Robison. All rights reserved.