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, October 14, 2012

Shabbat 11 - No Advertising!

The Mishnah states that a tailor cannot go out just before sunset on Friday, as Shabbat is approaching, with a needle (presumably stuck in his cloak). The assumption is that he will forget he has it and once Shabbat begins, he would be liable for carrying it.

But maybe there is more than a preventive measure against carrying going on.

R. Judah taught:

"An artisan is liable [for carrying out an object] in the manner of his trade. For it was taught: A tailor must not go out with a needle stuck in his garment, nor a carpenter with a chip behind his ear, nor a [wool] corder with the cord in his ear, nor a weaver with the cotton in his ear, nor a dyer with a [color] sample round his neck, nor a money-changer with a denar in his ear."

it seems that these artisans would walk about with some symbol of their profession on them - perhaps in the hope that someone would see them and offer them a job. Or maybe just out of professional (guild) pride. But one day a week, they have to look like everyone else.

Don't you love the idea of a Shabbat without commercials?

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