Description: Winner of the National Jewish Book Award! This award-winning English translation of Maimonides' indispensable work has become a classic. In this superb introduction to the Talmud, Maimonides explains the origins, aims, methodology, and spirit of the Talmud and delineates all the Rabbinic sages of the period. He covers such fundamental issues as the powers of the Rabbis to add to the original laws of the Torah, why dissensions from the accepted rulings of Jewish law were permanently recorded in the Talmud, and the criteria for the determination of a true prophet. Includes the complete Hebrew text of Maimonides' Introduction.