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)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Berachot 23 - Physically Prepare for Prayer

This page has an extensive discussion of bathroom etiquette as it relates to prayer. This is, if one is saying the prayers and finds he must relieve himself, when he returns does he start over or pick up where he left off? There is more, much more. You don't want to know. The point being, Talmud and Jewish law deals with all aspects of human life. It is not idealized - it is real.

There is a recognition that prayer requires preparation, including physical preparation (take care of your business before you begin to pray). Based on the verse" Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." (Amos 4:12)

Prayer is not mere recital - it is Divine Encounter. Be ready.

It reminds me of the moment I take before services to wrap my head in the tallit - separating and centering myself.

How do you prepare yourself for prayer?

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