Naftal-Yaffe Department of Talmud and Oral Law

The Talmud Department is dedicated to scholarly research and teaching in the fields of rabbinic and halakhic literature (adopting a historical-philological perspective) over the course of its history: tannaitic literature (Mishnah, Tosefta and Midreshei Halakhah), amoraic literature (the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds), aggadic literature, and the rabbinic corpus that was created during the period from the editing of the Talmud to the present. This corpus is defined in the most expansive sense and includes Talmudic commentary, volumes containing halakhic legal rulings, anthologies of customs, and the responsa literature.

Why study in the Talmud Department?

Because of the amazing programs of study:

The Talmud Department offers B.A. programs for Rabbis and Yeshivah graduates on an extremely high level. The program allows for candidates to complete their studies in two years (and in some cases even in one year). The Department also offers an M.A. program without a thesis that in combination with on-line courses can be completed by studying at Bar Ilan one day a week. The Department also offers courses on Friday.


Because of the wide variety of areas of specialization:

The Talmud department offers courses in all of the major fields of Talmudic literature. The areas of study span from Second Temple sources to the most recent discussions in halakhic literature.


Because of excellent scholars working in a wide variety of fields:

Our department includes scholars working in all of the major fields of contemporary Talmud study: second temple literature, the Bavli, the Yerushalmi, aggadic literature, Geonic literature, and the vast responsa literature.

The department aims to provide its students with an in-depth knowledge of these corpora, spanning both its history and its various sub-fields, and to train a cadre of its students to engage in scholarly research on the highest level in these fields. The department wishes to inculcate an awareness of the literary, historical, philological, and halakhic difficulties found in the halakhic and aggadic sources, and to provide them with the methodologies developed to resolve these problems.

The department’s strength and uniqueness derives from the fact that it embraces all the areas of research into the corpora of rabbinic and halakhic literature (in their widest connotations), without limiting itself to any particular place or time, and employs a wide variety of approaches (historical, philological, legal) to do so. It is the largest department in its field in the world, both in terms of number of faculty members, number of students, and number of doctorates composed under its aegis.