The Indestructible Talmud

by Steven Rosner


Book Details

Everyone loves a good story, but inside is a great story. It is the story of the Talmud’s survival, despite its countless trials and tribulations in every century since the Babylonian exile.

For without “hope,” an individual or a nation goes into despair and after a short time, depending on one’s strength of character, the will to live no longer exists, and death usually comes quickly; whether by suicide, or more slowly by refusing to eat, drink, or take care of oneself. But as long as the Jewish people had the Talmud, at least some would retain hope for better times, during which they could practice their religion in peace. But as those times were all too few and far between, it took great courage and self-sacrifice to keep the Talmud viable for future generations.

So before a single section of the Talmud had been written down, its persecutions began, from the Greek Seleucids to the Roman Empire, from the Roman Catholic Church to Islam, from pagans to Jewish heretical sects, from the Russian Czars to Hitler, from individuals to nations, the persecutions of its enemies was never-ending, and we go into enough detail, so the reader, can appreciate the incredible saga of the Talmud’s survival.

We describe how when the Babylonian Talmud been completed, Justinian, the Roman Emperor (527-565), decreed practically its death--capital punishment to anyone who was immersed in its study.

Next, the Karaites, in the 7th century, seriously threatened its existence. Time and time again, they were a stone’s throw from making an end of the Talmud, and to its expositors.

In the 8th and 9th centuries, Islam turned into the enemy of the Jews, and massacres, blood and fire, burnings, and exile were visited upon the adherents of the Talmud, who were deemed infidels.

Assailed by the Roman Catholic church, from the time of Pope Innocent III, the Talmud was burned at the stake in virtually every century from the 12th to the 17th, in Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, to mention a few, while in the 18th century it was assailed by the Frankists, when copies in Poland were dragged through the streets of its cities, tied to horses’ tails, and delivered to the executioner to be burned.

Yet what has been the result? The Talmud exists to-day, and not one letter in it is missing! No modern persecutions can seriously endanger its existence any longer; the Talmud will survive them and continue as long as the sky spans the earth.

In Part I, we briefly review the history of the Jews as reported in the Old Testament, until the first century CE.

Part II is devoted to the structure of the Talmud; its major divisions called Orders, and subdivisions, called Tractates, each devoted to a particular area of Jewish law.

In Part III, we discuss the sages—most having the title of rabbi—that put the Talmud together, and explained it, so it might be more easily understood by the average Jew.

In Part IV, we tell the story of the persecutions of the Talmud and its adherents, including public burnings, confiscations, laws prohibiting Jews from studying, or forcing Jews to dispute its contents before royalty or the Roman Catholic Church—almost always with a former apostate.

In the final analysis, the title, "The Indestructible Talmud," could not have been more apropos.


About the Author

Steven Rosner

Steven Rosner is a self-professed “Steve of All Trades.” Born and raised in New York City, he holds an B.S. from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in psychology from Hofstra University, but his early career was business and computer related. Steven has worked in corporate America as a systems analyst, was a manager in information technology, a VP in a prestigious investment banking firm, and driven a taxi.

Steven has written articles about computers, Wall Street, and financial management and has two published short stories to his credit. He also produced, directed and starred in Grandmother Tales, four comic one-act plays of life in the depression, written by his father Nathan.

In the late 1990s, Steven was an independent consultant, specializing in Y2K related issues. His versatility was demonstrated after moving to Iowa in 2000, and writing several large scale works in the mental health field. His Guide To Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities In Iowa was the first ever educational manual for those with advisory or decision making authority in that arena. Indeed, in 2019 Steven published a ground-breaking paper relating to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence, disproving once and for all, that MS is not only not caused by the EBV virus, but discovering that the two “versions” of MS—Relapsing Remitting (RRMS) and Primary Progressive (PPMS)—have nothing whatsoever to do with one another and lumping them together in research is the major reason why in over 50 years, traditional medicine has made zero progress as to its cause. (Recent research has made it crystal clear that RRMS is not an auto-immune disease, but caused by chronic emotional stress over years--triggered by an acute stressor such as an auto accident, a divorce , losing a job, etc.)

Back to Steven’s bio, in 2015, A Guide to the Psalms of David was released, featuring the first index categorizing each of the 150 psalms, and a heartfelt English translation. He says the best compliment he ever received was when a clinical psychologist told him, “Your rendition brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, I could feel David’s heart breaking.”

In 2016, God is Good was published, and God and Man: Love on the Rocks was released in April, 2018. In 2020, Sherlock Holmes vs. Dr. Watson was published, which consists of two short stories, a novella, and a novel. In 2021, The Five Books of Moses, 99 Amazing Insights was released, and continuing this amazing period of creativity in his seventies, the manuscript for The Indestructible Talmud is at his publisher, which he hopes will be released in late October, 2022.

According to his wife, “It is deeds that put Steven in a special category—for example, returning to NYC from North Carolina in 2007 to take care of his dad and mom so that they could remain in their Manhattan apartment and not be placed into a nursing home. (Both have passed away, [mom at 97, dad at 106] but not until they celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary!)

“Steven is a kind and caring person. He is a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He has a strong sense of honesty. He will not tell you what you want to hear, but will tell you what is in his heart. And while some people, at first, find his direct manner a bit intimidating, his kindness is real. If you go deeper, you'll discover his intention is always for the best and his heart is soft. His soul abhors deceit, while as a visionary, he is ahead of his times, so is constantly rejected for ideas that are foreign to most individuals—occasionally, months or even years later, to be told by a few honest souls, ‘I should have listened to you.’ As a result, he often gets deeply depressed observing or experiencing the lack of integrity in our society.

“Nonetheless, Steven goes out of his way to help others when he sees they are a victim of injustice. He is not afraid to get involved. His ambition is to inspire people to have a bit more compassion and integrity, as well as awaken one to God’s tangibility and the wisdom of Scripture.

“Finally, Steven is seeker of truth. He is always looking at the bigger picture and delving deep into the core of what life means. If engaged in a conversation with him, you will always be challenged and perhaps enlightened by his unique and creative view of life, Scripture and spirituality. His keen intuitive sense may direct you to a new understanding that you were not aware of. If you want to know a person who is constantly probing the most difficult questions, it is Steven.

Also by Steven Rosner

A Guide to the Psalms of David
God is Good
God and Man: Love on the Rocks
The Five Books of Moses:  99 Amazing Insights
The Vulnerability of God