What is Talmud Tweets?

What is Talmud Tweets? A short, personal take on a page of Talmud - every day!

For several years now, I have been following the tradition of "Daf Yomi" - reading a set page of Talmud daily. With the start of a new 7 1/2 year cycle, I thought I would share a taste of what the Talmud offers, with a bit of personal commentary included. The idea is not to give a scholarly explanation. Rather, it is for those new to Talmud to give a little taste - a tweet, as it were - of the richness of this text and dialogue it contains. The Talmud is a window into a style of thinking as well as the world as it changed over the centuries of its compilation.

These are not literal "tweets" - I don't limit myself to 140 characters. Rather, these are intended to be short, quick takes - focusing in on one part of a much richer discussion. Hopefully, I will pique your interest. As Hillel says: "Go and study it!" (Shabbat 31a)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Berachot 10 - Beruria

The appearance of Beruria! The only woman whose textual interpretations are included in the Talmud - Beruria is the wife of Rabbi Meir. In her first entrance, and with snappy dialogue (she is the master of the halackic one-liners!), Beruria convinces her husband, who has been harassed by robbers not to pray for their death but for the death of their sins. She does this by neatly flipping one word of a prooftext. With proof in hand, Rabbi Meir prays that the thieves will repent - and they do! In this and other examples, Beruria displays not only compassion, but quick intelligence and the confidence to stand up for her beliefs. Perhaps one can say that she is the exception which proves the rule of what is to modern eyes a highly offensive negation of women in the Talmud - reflecting the reality of a 1,500 year old text. But one can also hold Beruria up as a demonstration of personal strength and respect for intellect. Beruria continues to inspire.

note: although I study every day, I do not post on Shabbat. On these summer days when Shabbat ends so late, I will most likely double post on Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment