Increasing numbers of secular Israelis are engaging in ancient texts, hoping to reclaim the country’s moral center.
Special To The Jewish Week
A small group of students sits around a table in the ground-floor room of an unassuming building on a quiet street in the heart of Tel Aviv. They are studying Talmud; some follow along in their copies of the Steinsaltz Talmud, others on their tablets. But what makes this daf yomi, page-a-day Talmud class in this urban “shtiebel” different is the makeup of the group.
They are a mix of men and women, ranging in age from young adult to retirement.
A secular Talmud scholar makes an impassioned plea for sharing the burdens and responsibilities of Israeli society.
Editor’s note: In her inaugural Knesset speech last week, Ruth Calderon, a secular Talmud scholar and teacher and member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, created a national stir with a contemporary lesson she drew from the Talmud. This excerpt was translated, from the Hebrew, for The Jewish Week by Elli Fischer.