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)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Berachot 49 – The Communal and the Personal

There seems to be a lot of fluidity about the exact words of the grace after meals (birkat hamazon) at the time of this Gemara. The themes are outlined but the exact words are still in flux.

In the second blessing, the covenant and the Torah are mentioned. Pelimo says the “covenant” is mentioned before “Torah” because the word “covenant” (brit) appears 13 times in the circumcision of Abraham, (Gen. 17:1-14) while “Torah” is given with only 3 instances of “covenant.” That is to say, there are three instances of communal acceptance of “Torah:” Sinai (Ex. 24:7), Mt. Gerezim (Deut. 28:69) and the Plains of Moab (Deut. 29:11).

The Covenantal relationship with G-d is communally accepted, but the personal is more intense.

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