Selections from Gemara: Description, Role

Selections from Gemara offer informative and, at the same time, fascinating facts about the lives of Jewish religious enlighteners. The topics raised in the reading allow a better understanding of the approaches that Hillel, R. Shammai, and other scholars used in their practices. Despite the fact that each of the mentioned characters understood God in one’s own way, their attitude towards higher powers was respectful and based on the recognition of God’s unyielding authority and strength. The presented dialogues make it possible to better understand the customs and traditions of that. In addition, they reveal the act of cognition as a crucial element not only of Judaism but also of any other religion. Doubts built on the distrust of the power of God are ridiculed in the described parables, and an understandable language makes the texts even more interesting. Moreover, the character of each participant is clear, which makes the analysis simple and accessible to any reader. Therefore, the reviewed reading is a convenient tool to assess the foundations of Jewish philosophy and practices promoted by the prominent educators of Judaism.

The plots described in the texts aim to reflect the wisdom inherent in the main Jewish religion. The recommendations and arguments that the Jewish teachers promote relate to the worship of God, respect for one’s neighbor, and other eternal values. The comparison between a Jew and a Goy is intended to highlight the difference in understanding the foundations of the universe and the mission of the Torah as one of the main Jewish Scriptures. Hillel’s condescension, R. Shammai’s wisdom, R. Eliezer’s distrust, and other elements of the narrative combine the answers to the main questions regarding the role of religion in people’s lives. Thus, the reviewed texts carry not only practical but also social significance as objectively useful guidelines.

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