While using this reference work it is important to remember that although the religion and beliefs taught by First Century Jews had some similiarities with the Old Testament, it was NOT the continuation of the same faith and true religion of the patriarchs and prophets. At the time of Jesus, Judaism was a self-righteous mix of Old Testament laws and the uninspired teachings of men. Jesus, when confronted by the self-justifying religious leaders of his day (Pharisees, scribes, etc. ), stated the following regarding their worship of God:
"And He answered and said to them (some Jewish religious leaders), "Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINE THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.' For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the TRADITION OF MEN, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice MANY OTHER THINGS like this." Then He said to them, 'Full well do you REJECT the commandment of God, so that you may observe YOUR OWN tradition.'" (Mark 7:6-9, Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version (HBFV))
The book "Judaism -- Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men?" by Philip Neal, regarding the true underpinning of the religion taught by Rabbis and other leaders during the time of Jesus, boldly declares,
"Judaism is based on secret laws, traditions and scriptural interpretations that God allegedly 'whispered into Moses’ ear' at Mt. Sinai. The rabbis maintain that Moses was forbidden to make a written record of these esoteric instructions. Rather, the teachings were to be passed on orally, generation by generation, to only the most scholarly and pious Jewish leaders. However, centuries later, these 'revelations' were written down, and exist today in the form of the Talmud. Importantly, these 'oral traditions' form the very core, the foundation of Judaism - even to the exclusion of the Scriptures!
". . . rabbis consider these secret, oral laws and traditions to be superior to the written Law that God originally gave to the nation of Israel by the hand of Moses. Most do not realize that when rabbis speak of the 'Torah of Moses,' they are including their 'oral traditions' along with the written Law (the Pentateuch) of Moses. But in actual practice, observant Jews revere and exalt the Talmud, and all but ignore the Scriptures." (page ii)