Talmud

Celebrating Talmud Study

07/30/2012 - 20:00
Editorial

The Talmud has been compared to the seas, for it is vast and deep and, like the oceans, there is no real beginning or end to the study of Shas (an acronym for the Talmud). Few among us have circumnavigated its 63 tractates and 2,711 double-sided and oversized pages. It can take days to fathom even a few lines, and so familiarity with the entirety of Shas had become rare over time, and several of the less popular tractates fell into obscurity.

Advanced Talmud Program At MATAN To Close

05/09/2012 - 20:00

The Advanced Talmudic Institute at MATAN, one of the few programs for women in Israel that focuses on high-level Talmud study, is closing.

MATAN, the Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, was established in 1988, and the Advanced Talmudic Institute, a leading program in advanced study for women, began its first cohort in 1999. The institute was started with funds from the Avi Chai Foundation and other funders.

Fellows learn in the institute for three years, using traditional and modern methods to understand the Talmud, in exchange for a living stipend.

Words As Weapons

The complex ‘Footnote,’ about Torah scholars, takes Joseph Cedar to another kind of battlefield: that of academic infighting and father-son resentment.
03/05/2012 - 19:00
Special to Jewish Week

Judaism is unique among the Abrahamic faith traditions in giving pride of place to the study of sacred texts, even within the liturgy. The traditional morning service includes both the blessing for study of Torah and passages from the Talmud relating to the sacrifices offered in the Temple a couple of millennia ago.

Lior Ashkenazi as Uriel Shkolnik and Shlomo Bar Aba as Eliezer Shkolnik, the father-son Torah scholars in “Footnote.” Ren Mendel

Sparing the Rod?

04/21/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q - I was shocked to read recently that corporal punishment is still legal in 20 states. I also know the famous quote from Proverbs, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” But on Passover we are taught to answer a child’s questions with patience. Is it ever acceptable for a parent or teacher to hit a child?

A - It is never appropriate to hit a child, at school or at home. Period.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

How Women’s Talmud Study Is Unique

04/11/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

A quiet revolution is taking place in the second generation of women's Torah study. Originally women's Talmud learning was modeled after the male yeshiva: students were detached from the surrounding world and were expected to confine themselves to the Beit Midrash in order to achieve a total absorption into the world of Torah. There was also methodological aping: analyses that required a thumb stirring the air and intellectual hair splitting of the Talmudic topics dominated.

Journal Watch

04/04/2011 - 20:00

Of all the arcana of Jewish life, that most universal instrument, the Jewish calendar, is one of the more enigmatic. Solar? Lunar? Length of month? Two days of a holiday, or one? What about the “leap month”? And whence derives our calendar? Ancient Judaea/Palestine? Babylonia? The Tanakh? The Talmud?

Judaism For The Star-Struck

Can the zodiac be integrated into the Jewish tradition?
04/04/2011 - 20:00

When my great-nephew Owen arrived in the world in January, there was a collective spate of “Your constellation is good!” OK, we shortened the sentiment to “mazal tov!” but the meaning was the same. We were congratulating the new parents on their mazal (from Akkadian, “location of a star”), luck that’s credited to the stars and has nothing to do with merit. Which begs the question: Is there mazal for Jews?

Zodiac painting from the ceiling of the Bialystoker Synagogue, New York. 	PHOTO BY MICHAEL DATIKASH

Should Christians Read the Bible More Like Jews?

In his usually precise and incisive way, critic Adam Kirsch tackles a thorny issue: should Christians read their Bible like Jews read theirs?  The occasion is a new book--"The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book"--by Case Western religion professor Timothy Beal, who is also the child of evangelical parents. 

Is Jeter a Cheater?

02/17/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - With baseball’s spring training underway, I’m reminded of an incident from last season. Derek Jeter, one of the few superstars from the past decade not implicated in baseball’s steroid sample, was caught on video pretending to be hit by a pitch.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

What Do Digital Books Mean for the People of the Book?

This week I wrote an essay about how Jewish culture will change in light of the coming e-book revoluion.  I talked to at least a dozen Jewish book experts, from scholars and publishers, to readers and rabbis, and there was clearly no consensus about what might happen--only unanimous agreement that something important will.

Syndicate content