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 20, 2012

Shabbat 17 – Hyperbole

Descriptions of the culminating match between Hillel and Shammai:

A sword was planted in the Beth Hamidrash and it was proclaimed, ‘He who would enter, let him enter, but he who would depart, let him not depart!’

Presumably so that none of the voting members would leave and change the outcome of the vote.

The battle ends, the vote is taken:

And on that day Hillel sat submissive before Shammai, like one of the disciples, and it was as grievous to Israel as the day when the [golden] calf was made.

Ok, surely hyperbole. But a pretty dramatic rendition! Especially since the writers are followers of Hillel.

Sore losers?

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