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 19, 2012

Berachot 18 - Ghosts!

One whose dead lies before him (either literally, or simply has not yet buried them) is exempt from all the normal obligations, like saying the Sh'ma or the blessing after meals. On Shabbat, they perform all obligations. One also does not say the Sh'ma in a cemetery - because it is mocking the dead ("Hear, O Israel" - but they cannot hear!). Several stories are then told which indicate that they do, in fact, hear and have knowledge of the world. The Talmud has ghost stories!

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