Brachot 58 – Censorship in the Talmud

There are many cases of censorship in the Talmud and one of the most endearing things about the Koren Talmud is that it includes the original uncensored text and points out why the censorship was incorporated.

Our daf includes a discussion about which blessing we make when seeing either a Jewish sage or a non-Jewish sage.

תנו רבנן: הרואה חכמי ישראל אומר ברוך שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו, חכמי אומות העולם – אומר ברוך שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם

“The sages taught: one who sees the Sages of Israel recites: Blessed…who has shared His wisdom with those who revere Him. One who sees Sages of the nations of the world recites: Blessed…who has given of his wisdom to flesh and blood

The Koren notes:

The formula of the blessing for non-Jews in standard editions of the Talmud is livriyotav, to His creations, rather than levasar vadam, to flesh and blood. The censor made this change to soften the contrast between: Those who revere Him, which is the formula recited for Jews, emphasising their connection with God, and: Flesh and blood, which indicates no such connection. The formula: To His creations, indicates that non-Jews have a connection with God as well.

There is an excellent article about the history of censorship at Jewishencyclopaedia.com

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About bookabazza

I am an Osteopath and University Lecturer who is trying to keep up with the 7 year daf yomi cycle. I thought I would try and share a few small thought on the daf each week.
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