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)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shabbat 10 – What Shall We Wear?

On the conversation about how hard it would be to take off the girdle before eating and putting it back to pray (see prior post), the conversation revolves to the proper attire for prayer (is it proper to “let him stand and pray [without the girdle]”). How should one dress to pray?

This is a common concern in our world, too. I hear from people “I would come to services, but it’s ‘casual Friday!’” (of course, here in Portland, it’s always “casual Friday!”). Guests, who come to services for the first time are concerned about what to wear.

Maybe it depends not on what’s happening inside the synagogue, but what’s happening outside:

R. Ashi said: I saw R. Kahana, when there was trouble in the world, removing his cloak, clasp his hands, and pray, saying, ‘[I pray] like a slave before his master.’

When there was peace, he would put it on, cover and enfold himself and pray, quoting, ‘Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.’ (Amos 4:12)

Or maybe, its less about what one wears on the outside when praying than what one prays on the inside while wearing.

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