Commonly refers to the Talmud Bavli, meaning the Mishnah (redacted Oral Law) with the Gemara (commentary) as redacted in Bavel (Babylon). It is also called by the acronym Shas, referring to the six orders (sedarim, sing. seder) into which the tractates (massekhtot, sing. massekhet) of the Mishnah and Gemara on it are divided. Today, there are 63 tractates of the Bavli, although Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, and Bava Batra (“First Gate,” “Middle Gate,” “Last Gate”) used to be combined and studied as one tractate called Nezikin. The Talmud (Bavli), over time, became the centerpiece of advanced Jewish education and learning.

תלמוד ממתאי (ברכות ב)

The term “Talmud” often refers more specifically to Gemara; it can also denote a method of discourse employed specifically in the Gemara of the Bavli. There is also a Talmud Yerushalmi, redacted in Eretz Yisrael with briefer, less discursive, and less edited commentary. The Bavli is written in the Jewish dialect of Eastern Aramaic, while the Yerushalmi is written in a Western Aramaic dialect.

The rabbis of the Talmud are called Amoraim, some of whom lived in Eretz Yisrael and others in Bavel, both being cited in the texts of the Talmuds. They are collectively, together with the Tannaim who composed the Mishnah, known by the acronym Chazal.

Tractates of the Talmud are ordered, within each Seder, by descending length, meaning from the longest to the shortest, longest first. Sections of the Talmud are referred to by the tractate followed by the standard pagination of the Vilna edition, which is itself based on early print versions of the Talmud. Each folio page is called a daf, having two sides (‘amudim, sing. ‘amud). The term for the standard page is tzurat ha-daf, literally, “the shape of the (folio) page.” The front side (‘amud alef) is denoted by a single dot, like a period (.) following the folio number, or an “a” in English.1 The back side (‘amud bet) is denoted by two dots, like a colon (:) following the folio number, or a “b” in English.2 Unspecified tractate names, without an indication of whether they are from the Bavli and Yerushalmi, are from the Bavli. Sometimes the Bavli is abbreviated BT or TB, and the Yerushalmi Y., YT or TY.

Seder Zera’im | זרעים
MishnahGemara (Bavli)Gemara (Yerushalmi)
Berakhot | ברכותXX
Peah | פאהX
Demai | דמאיX
Kilayim | כלאיםX
Shevi’it | שביעיתX
Terumot | תרומותX
Ma’asrot | מעשרותX
Ma’aser Sheni | מעשר שניX
Challah | חלהX
‘Orlah | ערלהX
Bikkurim | בכוריםX
Seder Mo’ed | מועד
Shabbat | שבתXX
‘Eruvin | עירוביןXX
Pesachim | פסחיםXX
Shekalim | שקליםX
Rosh ha-Shannah | ראש השנהXX
Yoma | יומאXX
Sukkah | סוכהXX
Beitzah | ביצהXX
Ta’anit | תעניתXX
Megillah | מגילהXX
Mo’ed Katan | מועד קטןXX
Chagigah | חגיגהXX
Seder Nashim | נשים
Yevamot | יבמותXX
Ketubbot | כתובותXX
Nedarim | נדריםXX
Nazir | נזירXX
Sotah | סוטהXX
Gittin | גיטיןXX
Kiddushin | קידושיןXX
Seder Nezikin | נזיקין
Bava Kamma | בבא קמא
Bava Metzia | בבא מציעא
Bava Batra | בבא בתרא
Sanhedrin | סנהדריןXX
Makkot | מכותXX
Shevu’ot | שבועותXX
‘Avodah Zarah | עבודה זרהXX
Horayot | הוריותXX
‘Eduyot | עדויות
Avot | אבות
Minor Tractates | מסכתות קטנות (usually printed after Seder Nezikin)
Seder Kodashim | קדשים
Zevachim | זבחיםX
Menachot | מנחותX
Chullin | חוליןX
Bekhorot | בכורותX
Arakhin | ערכיןX
Temurah | תמורהX
Keritot | כריתותX
Me’ilah | מעילהX
Tamid | תמידX
Middot | מדות
Kinnim | קינים
Seder Tohorot | טהרות
Kelim | כלים
Oholot | אהלות
Negaim | נגעים
Parah | פרה
Tohorot | טהרות
Mikva’ot | מקואות
Niddah | נדהXX
Makhshirin | מכשירין
Zavim | זבים
Tevul Yom | טבול יום
Yadayim | ידים
Uktzim | עוקצים

Related Entries


  1. This is equivalent to the recto (“r”) page of a handwritten manuscript; see here.
  2. This is the equivalent of the verso (“v”) page of a manuscript.