By Paul Socken, Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, Tsvi Blanchard, Judith R. Baskin, Michael Chernick, Shaye J.D. Cohen, Yaakov Elman, Pinchas Zuriel Hayman, Richard Kalmin, Jane Kanarek, Ephraim Kanarfogel, David Novak, Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, Devora Steinmetz, Bar
The Talmud is the repository of millions of years of Jewish knowledge. it's a conglomerate of legislations, legend, and philosophy, a mix of distinctive common sense and sensible pragmatism, of heritage and technology, of anecdotes and humor. regrettably, its occasionally complicated subject material frequently turns out inappropriate in modern day international. during this edited quantity, 16 eminent North American and Israeli students from numerous faculties of Jewish proposal grapple with the textual content and culture of Talmud, speaking in my opinion approximately their very own purposes for learning it. every one of those students and academics believes that Talmud is indispensible to any severe research of contemporary Judaism and so every one essay demanding situations the reader to have interaction in his or her personal person trip of discovery. the various feminist, rabbinic, academic, and philosophical techniques during this assortment are as different because the members' reviews. Their essays are obtainable, own debts in their person discovery of the Talmud, reflecting the power and profundity of contemporary non secular idea and adventure.
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Extra info for Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-First Century?: The Relevance of the Ancient Jewish Text to Our World
Males come into the world well equipped to function fully in society and to leave progeny after them. Women come into the world with nothing; they are dependent upon male largesse for their very survival and, as empty vessels, they must wait for male agency in order to become bearers of children. A male child is circumcised on the eighth day of life to the great delight of all; indeed, on that day his parents may resume sexual relations. No rituals await a new born daughter and, as a sign of grief at her gender, marital relations may only resume fourteen days after her birth.
The protagonist of the novel is a young rabbinical student, Reuven, who excels in technical Talmud study. He suffers discontent, however, in that he is often dissatisfied with traditional explanations of the text. Under the tutelage of his academically oriented father and unbeknownst to the great rabbis of his yeshiva, Reuven starts evaluating the received text in light of ancient manuscript evidence. As the result of his investigations, he often reaches the less than pious conclusion that the best reading is to be found in manuscripts and not in the version of the text espoused as authentic and authoritative by his community.
ENDNOTES 1. See b. Sotah 12b for the interpretation discussed here. 2. This discussion is drawn from and based on the talmudic argument on b. Baba Metzia 21b–22b. 3. The wonderful drama of Reuven’s examination for rabbinic ordination is told in Chaim Potok, The Promise, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1969, 327–342. 4. ” The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 97, No. 3 (Summer 2007), 317–346; and “How Tefillin Became a Non-Timebound, Positive Commandment: The Yerushalmi and the Bavli on mEruvim 10:1,” in A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud: Introduction and Studies, ed.