Characterists and Methodology

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Talmud Yerushalmi, interest and influence through out the Ages. Unlike commonly thought, the Talmud Yerushalmi never ceased to be studied. On the contrary, its impact on the interpretation of the Talmud Bavli and the codification of the halakha  as we know it was immeasurable. In addition various rules where the Talmud Yerushalmi is followed were formulated by later Sages.

The Manuscripts and Geniza Fragments on the Talmud Yerushalmi (Rabbi Joshua Buch). The text of the Talmud Yerushalmi has many difficult to understand passages. Scholars often realized that this is due to a faulty text and found methods to make the text more legible. Establishing the correct text has finally been made possible with the discovery of numerous geniza fragments and a number of manuscripts, none of which were known to the classical commentators.

Asmakhta and its rootedness in the Biblical Text. Rabbinic exegesis of laws is rooted to various degrees in the Biblical Text. Difference of opinion exists among the Medieval scholars whether Rabbinic decrees can actually be rooted in the text on some level (this is known as the Asmakhta). However, within the Talmud Yerushalmi itself we can find different schools of exegesis with different approaches.

Relationship of Barayathoth to the Mishnah according to the Talmud Yerushalmi. Various sages such as Rabbi Hiyya the Great, Rav and Samuel composed Barayathoth of their own. Some were complimentary to the Mishnah while others were supplimentary to it. The Talmud Yerushalmi (its anonymous voice)  for example, sees Rabbi Hiyya’s Barayathoth to be supplimentary.

Deriving from what is already derived (למד מן הלמד).  Whether one may learn laws from a verse which laws have already been learned from is critical point of dissention between Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akive. The Talmud Yerushalmi which minimizes deriving laws from a verse which already has laws derived from it follows Rabbi Ishmael, while the Talmud Bavli for which ‘learning from the learned’ is normal follows Rabbi Akiva.

Unrefuted rebuttals of Amoraim and the Halakha. The Talmud Yerushalmi is replete with case where a Sage brings into question the words of the one preceding him, but the Talmud does not even attempt to come to a resolution. What is the Talmud Yerushalmi’s intention in such cases? An examination and classification of such cases will shed light on the rules of decision making in the Talmud Yerushalmi.   

Analogy and Association in the Argumentation of the  Talmud Yerushalmi. The Talmud Yerushalmi characteristically uses analogy in its argumentation, both in its anonymous voice and in that of the Amoraim and  much more so than its Babylonian counterpart

The Talmud Yerushalmi’s knowledge of teachings of Rabbi Ishmael. In various places the Talmud Yerushalmi inquires about the source of  a law according to the School of Rabbi Ishmael whereas it mentions that of Rabbi Akiva without introduction. It seems that the former’s teachings were not as well known in some or all of the Academies.

Differences between the exegetical and logical methods of the Schools of Galilea and Darom. The two Academies of ancient Israel which took part in the composition of the Talmud Yerushalmi had different approaches to deriving new laws.

The influences of the Schools of Eretz Yisrael on the Schools of Babylonia

Compilation of the Talmud Yerushalmi. A discussion of the history of the Talmud Yerushalmi’s redaction and composition.