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, October 19, 2012

Shabbat 16 - Glass Defilement

Continuing the discussion of the 18 laws enacted by Shammai, there is some analysis of glass vessels. No matter what they are made of, plates, bowls, jars, etc. are subject to ritual defilement and can make food impure (that is, cannot be eaten by a person in a state of ritual purity). But different materials are treated differently. Earthenware, for example can only be purified by breaking (either shattering and making it useless - and the shards no longer defile - or punching a large hole in it and then repairing it). Metal can be melted down. Glass is interesting because it is earth (silica), but can be melted down and reused like metal.

Many glass vessels are also supported by metal. So are they metal vessels with glass, or glass vessels with metal? Categories matter!

1 comment:

  1. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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