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, September 21, 2012

Berachot 51 - Wine for Grace

Two reports from actual Angels about how to keep demons away. Also ten things that must be done with the cup of wine over which the grace after meals is said: rinsed, washed, undiluted, full, crowning, wrapping, lifted with both hands, held with the right, raised a handbreadth from the ground, and the one saying the blessing keeps his eyes fixed on it.

Some add that it should be sent round to members of the household.

R. Johanan said: Whoever says the blessing over a full cup is given an inheritance without bounds, as it says, And full with the blessing of the Lord; (Deut. 33:23)

All this is like what we see today for the Kiddish said before the meal on Shabbat and Festivals. Well, not the demon part.

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