Georges Hansel

To Bible For Talmud Publication date : January 3, 2008

Ten years after the publication of Explorations talmudiques, in which Georges Hansel revealed the founding principles as well as the methods of reasoning underlying the unity of the Talmud, he now addresses several issues that were merely evoked in the earlier work. These include the law of retaliation, the rules of mourning and their significance, the relationship between respect for one's parents and Jewish identity, and a number of contemporary problems, which are all examined in the light of Talmudic tradition.

Hansel also examines the writings of “the Masters”, whose works were greatly influenced by their Talmudic sources. Finally, he reviews the intellectual itinerary of Emmanuel Levinas, the only twentieth-century Jewish thinker who held that the centre of Jewish thought is to be found in the Talmud.

Hansel's goal in this work remains unchanged: to accept the writings of the Talmud form the inside, as they are given, without ascribing to them any hidden symbolism.

Shrouded in mystery and legend, attacked, censored, sometimes even burned, the Talmud is regarded as one of the cornerstones of Judaism. With this book Georges Hansel contributes to the general reader's understanding of the Talmud.

Georges Hansel is a mathematician and a professor emeritus at the University of Rouen. Besides his scientific work, he has carried out extensive research into Jewish exegesis, working with Emmanuel Levinas.

He is the author of Explorations talmudiques (1998, 2006).