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 28, 2012

Shabbat 24 - Stop Doing That

A discussion on whether Hannukah should be mentioned in the blessing after meals (in the "Thanks" section), leads to the question of Rosh Hodesh (New Moons) and Festivals.

This leads to a surprising statement:

"R. Ahadebuy said in the name of R. Mattenah in Rab's name: When a Festival falls on the Sabbath, he who reads the haftarah in the prophetic lesson at the Sabbath Afternoon Service (in the blessing after) need not mention the Festival, since but for the Sabbath there is no prophetic lesson at the Afternoon Service on Festivals."

This is surprising because we don't read the haftarah on Shabbat afternoons! This is the only mention in the Talmud of this practice. It must have existed at one time. Rashi says it was common until it was outlawed by the Persians.

This shows the fluidity of Jewish ritual practice - at least at one time!

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