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)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shabbat 12 - Attention Must be Paid

Two Shabbat principles:

1. PREPARE -Since one cannot carry objects on a garment (i.e. a tailor's needle) it is important to check one's garment before the Sabbath. Rabbi Joseph calls this a great or vital law of Shabbat - one must prepare!

2. JOY AND SADNESS - There is a disagreement about whether it is permissible to comfort mourners or visit the sick on Shabbat. Since it is a time of joy, these visits invoke sadness. Shammai forbids and Hillel - however reluctantly - approves. One might even greet mourners by invoking Shabbat as a source of healing. And that G-d's presence rests with the infirm.

Shabbat needs attention - before and during. But it also is a source of comfort. When we visit the sick, or comfort the mourner we are bringing that attention to near on those who need it most.

No comments:

Post a Comment