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cinhoo



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PostSubject: 2 questions   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:53 pm

I have 2 questions
1.Im in the process of converting, i'm single women, i was wonder after i finish the process, would it ok to cover my head, know that married women do, but is there any wrong with me covering my head?

2. Where can i buy a topical book for the talmud, i think that might be nice when studying. thanks

cindi
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:53 pm

1. Head coverings, like other aspects of Jewish "dress code" vary by community. In many non-Orthodox Jewish communities, some women, whether married or single, choose to cover their heads in synagogue or when praying for the same reasons that Jewish men do so. And they will often use the same "kippah" that a man would use or they may use "feminine" head coverings.

In some communities, members will disapprove of the "wrong" type of head covering, such as expecting married women to wear wigs (with hats over the wigs in synagogue), and seeing full coverage snoods as the head wear of those outside their community, even though to me not showing any hair seems much more tzniut (modest). In communities with strict dress codes, I would imagine that a single woman who covered her head in the manner of married women would be seen as being incorrect because she would seem to be trying to look married, like wearing a plain gold band ring on the ring finger of her left hand.

So look around to see if any other single woman covers her head in the community you are joining, ask other women about it, and ask your rabbi.

2. My personal opinion is that someone relatively new to Judaism has a lot to learn about overall concepts, ritual, and liturgy. Better to put effort into learning more Hebrew than to read translations and/or summaries of Talmud which really wasn't written to be studied that way. The vocabulary and references and other aspects of Talmud mean that a novice could easily completely misinterpret Talmudic passages without the guidance of a knowledgable scholar. (Disclaimer: I've studied only a bit of Talmud and relied on translations of my teachers because my Hebrew knowledge is not good enough. But from that I've seen how much background knowledge is needed to dissect a single sentence of Talmud.)

The rules for living a modern observant Jewish life already incorporate the important conclusions of Talmudic arguments. So wait until you have mastered the basics of Jewish living (which is enough to keep most people busy for several years at least) and then study Talmud in the original Hebrew and Aramaic with a good teacher. Or study more general Judaic sources which will often refer to important quotes from Talmud and explain their relevance.

If you want something in more depth than the typical intro or general books about Judaism, you might try a book like Entering Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Personal Devotion and the Worship Service or Or Hadash which is a completely annotated siddur that gives extensive details about the history and meaning of the liturgy.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:42 am

Do you mean cover your head or cover your hair? There is a big difference. There are women who wear a kippah all the time and it has nothing to do with marital status. But covering your hair is another story. If you always have your hair covered, like Debbie said, it may be frowned upon as if you are coming across as something you are not. Also, if you would like to meet someone and get married, then having everyone assume you are already married may not be the best idea.
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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:45 am

I moved this post over here so it's more likely to be seen. Very Happy
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:43 pm

A MUST!!!
1).The Essential Talmud by Rabbi Aden Steinsaltz- It teaches how the Mishna and Gemara came about from Sinai to compilation of the Talmud.
2).Oral law of Sinai by Rabbi Berel Wein- (considered volumne one of two separate books)- gives you the story theme of the Oral Law.
3).Vision and Valor by Rabbi Berel Wein-(second book) is a background of the Sages.
Always keep in mind the Talmud is a sea of wisdom and knowledge from our Sages and these books are a must read before you begin Talmud study. When you want to dive deep into Talmud I recommend a Rabbi guide you and if one is not available or a class then there are other Talmud aids, but these are really good foundation to start. If your looking for a Hebrew English Talmud set there are Artscroll ones, I do recommend Koren Steinsaltz latest Talmud but its just starting out and only one is available, he encompasses what Artscroll doesn't, it has pictures, more detail of subject matter * however, it doesn't have the structure of the accustomed Vilna page which are studied at most Yeshivahs. Once you get beyond this there are dozens of intermediate to advance level Talmud study aids. Keep in mind this is covering Talmud Bavli, there is the Talmud Yerushalmi which is read by few Torah scholars.
websites: Chabad.org, Torahcafe.com, or search on google "introduction to the Talmud" for some good videos. (Look up this awesome Rabbi under scholars on Torahcafe.com) heading under scholars-Rabbi Eli Silberstein. He is our favorite on teaching the Talmud-he is funny, makes learning fun. Hope this helps, it can be overwhelming but these books are an essential to begin before you actually begin a looong loong but most rewarding path. Happy trails :-)
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:50 am

Bee wrote:
Hope this helps, it can be overwhelming but these books are an essential to begin before you actually begin a looong loong but most rewarding path. Happy trails :-)

No, they are absolutely not essential before beginning the process. Nobody expects a potential convert or a new Jew to be an expert in Talmud. One needs to start at the beginning. It is extremely important to start at the beginning and Talmud is not the beginning. I have The Essential Talmud and it's not too bad but it's not a starter book.

That being said, this was Cinhoo's first post so we don't know where she's at quite yet. Perhaps she would like to share what she's already read and where she is in her process so we can better recommend useful reading material. She should probably also consult with her Rabbi since they will know more than we do of where she is and where she is going.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:27 am

Well she asked what would be a good topical book to start with in regards to Talmud so if she is going to start buying books I suggest aids first so she can get a comprehension on basics and how to read a Talmud instead of just going for it. These books I recommend before hand so she has a little clue on what to expect before even considering buying a Talmud set. You can always tell someone no...but what if they do anyways? You are right I have no idea what her background is and for how long she has been in conversion process, but if she is one of those few who will go beyond or is trying to hit the floor running then at least start slow and easy. I did not mention Cindi is that before you can even start Talmud studies you DO need to have done your share in Torah/Tanach studies along with good resources and aids. There is way too much to learn before you can crack open a Tractate. It is not a book you can just pick up and read. Too many dynamics and you will not get one word of understanding if you do not even have a Torah foundation to begin with. If you feel like it is still something you are going to go ahead with, you definitely need some kind of instruction by a Torah scholar, Rabbi or study group in your community. Why are you interested in books about Talmud? Please give us some more info on your background?
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:25 am

When I started my process of conversion I bought a Tanakh in fact I have 2. I did not buy a talmud, when I am interested in using it I can go to my shul's library and use theirs.

Are you just starting your conversion process? Are you working with a rabbi?

The process of conversion will include learning which will be through the rabbi you convert with and you will join a community.

Community is everything in Judaism and when you convert you will follow the traditions of the community you are a part of.

I converted through an unaffiliated community so I worked with an unaffiliated rabbi. I had a reform, unaffiliated and conservative rabbi on my beit din. I am now a part of a Reform synagogue because they have a Hebrew school that goes beyond 6th grade so my kids could continue with Hebrew school.

Rather then go buy a Talmud there are many other books about Judaism that you could buy. What other books have you read?

One book I would recommend it Joseph Telushkin's Jewish Literacy.


cinhoo wrote:
I have 2 questions
1.Im in the process of converting, i'm single women, i was wonder after i finish the process, would it ok to cover my head, know that married women do, but is there any wrong with me covering my head?

2. Where can i buy a topical book for the talmud, i think that might be nice when studying. thanks

cindi
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:34 am

There are many other books to buy and a set of Talmud is not the first books to go out and buy. I think the expertise of the Rabbi she is working with would be the way to go in deciding if she should purchase a set of Talmud.

I am not sure what you mean "hit the floor running" but becoming Jewish is a journey of learning that never ends. She has a lifetime to continue with her Jewish learning it is not a race and our learning never stops.

In my opinion there is so much more to learn before one even knows enough to consider starting to learn Talmud. But the Rabbi she is working with and the movement she is converting through will give her the path of learning she will take.

Bee wrote:
Well she asked what would be a good topical book to start with in regards to Talmud so if she is going to start buying books I suggest aids first so she can get a comprehension on basics and how to read a Talmud instead of just going for it. These books I recommend before hand so she has a little clue on what to expect before even considering buying a Talmud set. You can always tell someone no...but what if they do anyways? You are right I have no idea what her background is and for how long she has been in conversion process, but if she is one of those few who will go beyond or is trying to hit the floor running then at least start slow and easy. I did not mention Cindi is that before you can even start Talmud studies you DO need to have done your share in Torah/Tanach studies along with good resources and aids. There is way too much to learn before you can crack open a Tractate. It is not a book you can just pick up and read. Too many dynamics and you will not get one word of understanding if you do not even have a Torah foundation to begin with. If you feel like it is still something you are going to go ahead with, you definitely need some kind of instruction by a Torah scholar, Rabbi or study group in your community. Why are you interested in books about Talmud? Please give us some more info on your background?
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:41 am

Bee wrote:
A MUST!!!
1).The Essential Talmud by Rabbi Aden Steinsaltz- It teaches how the Mishna and Gemara came about from Sinai to compilation of the Talmud.
2).Oral law of Sinai by Rabbi Berel Wein- (considered volumne one of two separate books)- gives you the story theme of the Oral Law.
3).Vision and Valor by Rabbi Berel Wein-(second book) is a background of the Sages.
Always keep in mind the Talmud is a sea of wisdom and knowledge from our Sages and these books are a must read before you begin Talmud study. When you want to dive deep into Talmud I recommend a Rabbi guide you and if one is not available or a class then there are other Talmud aids, but these are really good foundation to start. If your looking for a Hebrew English Talmud set there are Artscroll ones, I do recommend Koren Steinsaltz latest Talmud but its just starting out and only one is available, he encompasses what Artscroll doesn't, it has pictures, more detail of subject matter * however, it doesn't have the structure of the accustomed Vilna page which are studied at most Yeshivahs. Once you get beyond this there are dozens of intermediate to advance level Talmud study aids. Keep in mind this is covering Talmud Bavli, there is the Talmud Yerushalmi which is read by few Torah scholars.
websites: Chabad.org, Torahcafe.com, or search on google "introduction to the Talmud" for some good videos. (Look up this awesome Rabbi under scholars on Torahcafe.com) heading under scholars-Rabbi Eli Silberstein. He is our favorite on teaching the Talmud-he is funny, makes learning fun. Hope this helps, it can be overwhelming but these books are an essential to begin before you actually begin a looong loong but most rewarding path. Happy trails :-)

No, these books are not essential to the path to becoming Jewish. Becoming Jewish starts with finding a rabbi to work with and through the Rabbi and the movement one has decided to convert through gives the path one will take.

Our Jewish learning never stops and we have a life time to learn. I don't own a Talmud but my shul does and if I want to use it I go there.

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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:40 am

Tamar, I did not say buying a Talmud is a way to becoming Jewish. The fact is if she is interested in Talmud studies to buy study aids prior to Talmud so she can get an idea on how to approach it. She didnt ask what Talmud set but a topical book on Talmud. When i said "hitting the floor running" is because there are types of people who are eager to start studying Jewish scriptures. I enjoy daily devotions but nothing compares to acquiring insight on Torah studies. Nothing beats the deliciousness of a brilliant Talmud rulling, story in the Midrash or a commentary on a passage in the Jewish text. While she is learning how to be Jewish, there is nothing wrong with learning why be Jewish and what separates you from the world.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:51 am

Bee wrote:
Tamar, I did not say buying a Talmud is a way to becoming Jewish. The fact is if she is interested in Talmud studies to buy study aids prior to Talmud so she can get an idea on how to approach it. She didnt ask what Talmud set but a topical book on Talmud. When i said "hitting the floor running" is because there are types of people who are eager to start studying Jewish scriptures. I enjoy daily devotions but nothing compares to acquiring insight on Torah studies. Nothing beats the deliciousness of a brilliant Talmud rulling, story in the Midrash or a commentary on a passage in the Jewish text. While she is learning how to be Jewish, there is nothing wrong with learning why be Jewish and what separates you from the world.

Bee, you said:

it can be overwhelming but these books are an essential to begin before you actually begin a looong loong but most rewarding path. Happy trails :-)

The Talmud is not essential that is my point. The rabbis we work with are who we need to go for guidance.
Bee we are not separated from the world, I am not even sure what you mean there.

Becoming Jewish is not just learning Talmud, it is becoming a active part of a Jewish community, attending shul, having Jewish friends. It is the continued journey of learning. It is about the transformation of one's self.

It is a journey that never ends and one has a lifetime to learn.

This evening I will go to shul and daven with my community and tomorrow I will go to Torah study and learn with my community.

For me this is essential to learning. Within the community and with a rabbi.

These are the steps to becoming Jewish and one step leads to another step.

In the beginning of my journey I would never have thought to study Talmud. I would not ever recommend that a person working towards conversion who is in the early stages or who may not be working with a rabbi yet go out and buy the Talmud.





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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:03 pm

In order to understand what Talmud is, Bee's first suggestion, The Essential Talmud by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, is indeed the best resource. But this book explains what Talmud is, and how Jews study it; it is not a translation of Talmud, nor a complete summary of Talmud. The Talmud itself is a multi-volume set (5000+ pages!) of writings in Hebrew and Aramaic. Here is a internet website that shows what an actual page of Talmud looks like and how it is a kind of early hyper-linked text:
A Page of Talmud

However, to return to the subject of whether Talmud should be studied by a prospective convert or Jew who doesn't already have a very thorough background in Jewish studies, here is a great article that explains the difficulty of understanding Talmud:
The Talmud Article by Rabbi Steinsaltz

----
I agree that Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Telushkin is an excellent overall intro to Judaism. It has only a page or two on each subject and yet is still 800 pages long. I don't have my copy at hand to check, but I would guess that it devotes only a few pages at most to Talmud. That is not to say that Talmud isn't important; it is simply not a good starting point to understanding Judaism.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:19 pm

I think that Bee was just answering Cinhoo question as to "Where can i buy a topical book for the talmud, i think that might be nice when studying. thanks"

Since Bee has studied Talmud and found it as a great inspirational learning tool, she is excited to share her experience.

While Talmud may not be "thought of" as essential to learning Judaism, it most certainly contains everything Judaism believes in.

Without the Talmud, you probably wouldn't even see Jews wearing kippas, praying 3 times a day and reciting certain prayers.

So even though I agree one should start with the Tanach first and learn with a Rabbi, most likely a majority of what the Rabbi teaches will include many teachings from theTalmud.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:22 pm

searchinmyroots wrote:

While Talmud may not be "thought of" as essential to learning Judaism, it most certainly contains everything Judaism believes in.

Without the Talmud, you probably wouldn't even see Jews wearing kippas, praying 3 times a day and reciting certain prayers.

Sorry to be nit-picky, but the Talmud is not really about "beliefs" and it does not does not contain everything in modern Judaism. For example, some of even the traditional (i.e. "Orthodox") liturgy comes from post-Talmudic times.

The Talmud preserved Oral Law in a written form, but aspects of Jewish life that are not explicitly described in the Torah were already observed before the Talmud was compiled, and I daresay that if history had been different so that there had not been felt a dire need to write down the Oral Law (and that idea was not readily accepted by all scholars of the time when the Mishnah redacted) "modern Jews" in that alternative reality might still wear kippot and pray 3 times a day, etc.

The Talmud was not designed to be a "how-to" book even for the scholars who study it, let alone for lay people without a lot of background in Jewish studies. Furthermore, not only is it written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Aramaic, but it also has technical terminology that does not mean what the words literally say. My favorite example is ""Pesik reisha":
Quote :
(Lit. cutting off the head) is a permitted action which will definitely cause as a side effect an action that would be forbidden
And understanding Talmud properly is very difficult because it often assumes knowledge of other parts. All the above are just some of the reasons that Talmud can easily be misinterpreted.

Prospective converts and Jews with only basic knowledge are better off putting their efforts into studying Jewish observance, ritual, and other studies (such as Hebrew) with works meant for that purpose. That study then helps to form a foundation and a context for later study of Talmud. Also, basic study will help a person pursuing conversion to progress towards that end or help a Jew who wants to become more observant or more connected to Judaism to do so. Talmud study by someone without the proper background for it may help that person feel an emotional connection to all the generations of Jews who have studied Talmud, but it doesn't advance Jewish learning in such a person.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:58 pm

I really feel that people on the path to conversion should be learning about Judaism, its history, culture, Jewish concepts, beliefs, Hebrew.

Becoming part of a community and making connections with other Jews within the community, having Jewish friends.

Studying with a rabbi and taking classes that help us to continue to learn.

Learning Talmud should not be first it should be last because as people working towards conversion there is so much to learn and understand.

My concern also is that learning as a Noahide is not learning as a person working towards Jewish conversion. Noahide beliefs are about the Noahide commandments which are different then the mitzvot and different then Judaism.

If I am off track in my comments then I apologize but I do feel that one looks through the lens of the religious path we are a part of.

searchinmyroots wrote:
I think that Bee was just answering Cinhoo question as to "Where can i buy a topical book for the talmud, i think that might be nice when studying. thanks"

Since Bee has studied Talmud and found it as a great inspirational learning tool, she is excited to share her experience.

While Talmud may not be "thought of" as essential to learning Judaism, it most certainly contains everything Judaism believes in.

Without the Talmud, you probably wouldn't even see Jews wearing kippas, praying 3 times a day and reciting certain prayers.

So even though I agree one should start with the Tanach first and learn with a Rabbi, most likely a majority of what the Rabbi teaches will include many teachings from theTalmud.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:35 pm

I agree with these statements 100%!!

"I really feel that people on the path to conversion should be learning about Judaism, its history, culture, Jewish concepts, beliefs, Hebrew.

Becoming part of a community and making connections with other Jews within the community, having Jewish friends.

Studying with a rabbi and taking classes that help us to continue to learn
."

And I do understand Talmud is not an easy thing to study or understand, unless it's done with the right supervision.

I do think many people don't realize though, much of what we learn in Judaism is part of the Talmud.

So yes, I agree - learn, study, become part of a community and along your journey, you will understand what Judaism is and has to offer. The knowledge and study of Talmud may or may not come into play as time goes on.

As far as Noahides are concerned, I don't think it is wrong to study Talmd under the supervision of a Rabbi. He will know what and what not to study and can advise and answer questions accordingly.

Did you see the article about the South Koreans who are studying the Talmud and actually went to Israel to study more?

http://www.aish.com/jw/s/South_Koreans_Learning_Talmud.html

There is much to be learned, as long as it is done in the proper way.

Of course, this is just my opinion as well and I too apologize if I am off base.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:25 pm

searchinmyroots wrote:
I agree with these statements 100%!!

"I really feel that people on the path to conversion should be learning about Judaism, its history, culture, Jewish concepts, beliefs, Hebrew.

Becoming part of a community and making connections with other Jews within the community, having Jewish friends.

Studying with a rabbi and taking classes that help us to continue to learn
."

And I do understand Talmud is not an easy thing to study or understand, unless it's done with the right supervision.

I do think many people don't realize though, much of what we learn in Judaism is part of the Talmud.

So yes, I agree - learn, study, become part of a community and along your journey, you will understand what Judaism is and has to offer. The knowledge and study of Talmud may or may not come into play as time goes on.

As far as Noahides are concerned, I don't think it is wrong to study Talmd under the supervision of a Rabbi. He will know what and what not to study and can advise and answer questions accordingly.

Did you see the article about the South Koreans who are studying the Talmud and actually went to Israel to study more?

http://www.aish.com/jw/s/South_Koreans_Learning_Talmud.html

There is much to be learned, as long as it is done in the proper way.

Of course, this is just my opinion as well and I too apologize if I am off base.

I read the aish article about the Talmud and South Koreans learning it and I am bothered by the reason. There are many ways to increase your intelligence and to be a learned person. Learning what the Talmud is and what is in it is a good thing but are these folks actually sitting down and reading the Talmud without an understanding or are they just reading some of the stories from the Talmud?

Again are they learning from a rabbi? It seems that they aren't so again a Jewish text is being studied by children in schools with no real understanding of the text.

And yes much of what we learn in Judaism comes from the Talmud but learning comes from many other sources and someone starting out on the conversion path should have a multitude of sources to learn from.



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PostSubject: Re: 2 questions   Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:28 pm

I have "Everyman's Talmud" (http://www.amazon.com/Everymans-Talmud-Major-Teachings-Rabbinic/dp/0805210326) and it's a good place to get a general overview of what the Talmud says without dissecting it line by line. Very good place for beginners to start.
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