What is the difference between the Tanakh, Midrash, Mishnah, Gemara, Zohar and Talmud?

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Jabu Jolly

Assets Assessor, Semi Free Lance1h

The Tanach is the Hebrew Bible. The word Tanach is an acronym for Torah (Five Books of Moses), Neviim (book of prophecy and historical verification of prophecy), and Ketuvim (various inspirational writings).

The Torah is the word of God. Plain and simple. It’s Gods Law, the terms of Gods Covenant and the stories that form the basis of the Covenant. Whether you believe that it was divinely dictated or divinely inspired makes no difference. The Torah is what defines Israel and Israelites and is the one thing all Israelites regardless share in common.

The Nach (Neviim, Ketuvim) part of Tanach is Divinely inspired but can be and often is metaphorical and poetic. Much of it can’t be taken literally unlike the Torah. These books are there to help us explain the Torah and understand it. They verify the Torah and are there to point you back to Torah.

To explain the Mishna one has to explain how Rabbinic Judaism works. In Rabbinic Judaism they believe in a Written Torah and an Oral Torah. The Written Torah is the Five Books of Moses. The Oral is the discussions and debates about how to keep these laws (and Neviim and Ketuvim are often referenced in the process) and these culminate in decisions by the Supreme Court which as per Rabbinic Judaism has the authority to make these decisions based on a Deuteronomy passage. But since by the third century of the common era the Supreme Court was in danger of disappearing and the Oral Torah forgotten, it was written down. This writing of the Oral Law is the Mishna.

Once the Mishna was compiled there was a series of debates discussions and anecdotes trying to figure out ambiguities or applications of Mishnaic law. The record of these discussions is the Gemara. The Mishna and Gemara together are what’s called the Talmud. There are two Talmud’s, one called the Jerusalem Talmud and the bigger, more complete Babylonian Talmud. Within the Talmud all debates and discussions are based on Tanach, Mishna, and sayings called beraithas (these exist because the compilers of the Mishna wanted to retain an oral aspect to the Oral Torah so not everything was compiled. Beraithas are rabbinic sayings that bring down these non compiled parts of Oral Torah and preserve them for posterity.). The Talmud is vital to Rabbinic Judaism but only the Mishna and beraithas are final legal authorities that all Rabbinic Jews in all their diversity accept.

Non Rabbinic sects of Judaism don’t adhere to the Talmud at all because they don’t believe in an Oral Torah.

The Zohar, along with many other works both Kabbalistic and non Kabbalistic, is just metaphysical speculation. Whether you accept the Zohar or these other works as authoritative depends purely on which Rabbinic sect or school of thought you follow. For instance some Rabbinic sects accept the Zohar as authoritative. Some accept it as important but not authoritative. Others don’t accept the Zohar or its derivative works as part of Judaism at all.

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Moshe Kerr ·

Torah – common law which commands prophetic mussar aggaditah. NaCH – common law which amplifies and clarifies prophetic mussar aggaditah. Midrash a much later type of aggaditah organized around the Order of the T’NaCH literature. It functions through T’NaCH verses as precedents to compare Aggadic mussar stories with later Midrashic mussar stories.

Mishna – common law halachah. Gemarah – common law Case/Rule precedents the Amoraim sages logically compared to the Case/Rule Mishnaic source.

Later assimilated Reshonim scholars abandoned the logic format developed in Rabbi Akiva’s פרדס/Pardes logic system in favor of ancient Greek logic espoused by Plato, Aristotle and others. This assimilation/avoda zarah even pre-dates the Spanish assimilated rabbis ie the so-called Golden Age of Spain.

Saʿadiah ben Yosef Gaon the Jewish scholastic “error” that preceded the Reshonim scholastic “error”. This the most famous of the Gaonic Era scholars, he totally embraced the rediscovered ancient Greek philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Jewish avoda zarah – assimilation and intermarriage with Goyim – the definition of why Jews wound up in g’lut and scattered across the Planet Earth in the first place.

The early “ish” Reshon Ben Maimon while his son did not convert to Islam as did the son of Ibn Ezra, the biblical commentator on the Chumash, clear as the Sun in the sky on a cloudless day, he did not know, much less understand the kabbalah of Rabbi Akiva’s פרדס/Pardes logic format which defines the Oral Torah logic sh’itta revealed to Moshe the prophet at Horev.

The assimilated Rambam halachic codification infamously referred to as “Mishna Torah”, did not know that משנה תורה means: “Common Law”! The Rambam’s halachic code perverted Talmudic common law into Roman statute law. A disastrous Civil War ensued which spread like wildfire across the Western European States.

Maimon’s Yad published about 1180s. He died about 24 years thereafter. Rabbeinu Yonah’s court place the din of נידוי/charem upon the Rambam and burned his books across Spain in the 1230s. This Jewish Civil War spread to other countries across Western Europe. In 1242 the Pope and king of France intervened and burned Rambam’s statute law halachic codes together with all the Talmudic manuscripts contained within France.

Publication of the Zohar occurred shortly after the 1242 burning of the Talmud in Paris France. The Zohar claims itself as an ancient Tanna period Midrash on par with the Mishna. Alas it more qualifies as a fraud similar to the replacement theology of the new testament and the church. The latter perverted the T’NaCH into the Xtian Old Testament. The mysticism/kabbalah of the Zohar replaced the kabbalah of the T’NaCH.

In 1290s, the British expelled all Jewish refugee populations in England. In 1306 the king of France expelled all the refugee Jews of France. This tragedy destroyed the common law French scholarship known as Rashi/Tosafot. The disaster of this single event caused later generations, like the Brisker Rav’s pilpulism to fail to discern the fundamental distinction between Tosafot common law from Yad, Tur, and Aruch statute law.

The social anarchy and chaos among the Jewish people spread to the kingdoms of Germany. Goyim, perceived the Jews as easy prey. The Church and State imposed crushing taxation without representation upon all Jewish communities across the States of Germany. The Church followed this up with its war crime decree imprisonment of Western European Jewry; forced by law to live in ghetto prisons for 3 Centuries. Jews who rejected the ghetto ultimatum fled from Western European states unto the Ukraine and Poland; a large population transfer occurred.

In 1648 the Kossack revolt slaughtered Eastern European Jewish refugee communities across the Pale of Russia, Poland and the Ukraine. Jews placed the Greek assimilated Spinoza into נידוי charem. The false messiah movements of Sabbatai Zevi, and Yaacov Frank increased the disgraced Jewish identity. Not till the French Revolution did Napoleon free Western European Jewry from the ghetto war crimes.

Jews left the ghettos like children entering a candy store for the first time in their lives. A fresh new wave of Jewish assimilation and intermarriage ensued. Followed by a reactionary Goyim rejection of Jewish enfranchisement as citizens of France – known then in the 19th Century as “Anti-Semitism”. The Goyim barbarians of Germany took slaughter and oppression to the depths of hell when their antisemitism referred to Jews as an inferior race worthy of extinction.

Jewish assimilation to the cultures and customs practiced by Goyim societies which never accepted the revelation of Sinai, coupled with intermarriage with these Goyim, produced the fruits known as “the Shoah”.

The pursuit of justice defines the T’NaCH/Talmudic Jewish faith. Avoda zarah by stark contrast prioritizes theologies and Creeds like monotheism and the fundamental need to believe in God. Monotheism defiles the 2nd Sinai commandment. The Mishna teaches a halachic mussar: Persons who search for – whatever above, beneath, or behind them – better that such persons’ never born. No European courtroom ever caused the Church to stand before the Bar, charged with Crimes committed against Humanity. Just as the Court of Paro never condemned the overseers of Israelite slaves, beaten despite the fact that Par’o himself decreed withholding the straw required to make bricks!

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