The period from the Talmud to the present has witnessed the rise of the professional advocate in Jewish law, and in contemporary times, both specialized rabbinical pleaders and regular attorneys are a ubiquitous feature of rabbinical courts all over the world.
The source for Maimonides' first ruling forbidding judicial advocacy is in the Babylonian Talmud, (26) which states quite simply: "How do we know that a judge should not act as an advocate for his words?
In the Jerusalem Talmud, it is recorded that if, in the course of hearing a case, R.
Maimonides also refers to the general concept of not "acting like an advocate," which the Jerusalem Talmud does not discuss with regard to R.
Here then is the foundation for Lieberman and Safrai's assertion that a combination of paganism and tax breaks was a necessary condition, according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, for a fair to be off-limits to Jews.
(20) The Talmud's silence on this aspect of the story would, if correct, be somewhat strange.
As interesting here perhaps as the Talmud Bavli itself are glosses ad.
This leaves me to account for the discussion of tax breaks in the Talmud Yerushalmi (adduced above), as well as for such a blanket rabbinic prohibition against participation in all pagan fairs.
Shmuel Shimshoni suggested that the altar itself was shaped like a dog, thus combining the interpretation of the Talmud
with this modern scholarly approach (personal correspondence).
AlThough the Talmud is one of the great books of Western civilization, it is virtually inaccessible to all but the very few who choose to devote a lifetime to its study.
But the traditional edition of the Talmud has no vowels-or for that matter, punctuation-and it is peppered with abbreviations.
This makes reading the Talmud something like confronting a piece of Baroque music, where there is no direction as to how, or even on what instrument, the music is to be played.