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)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shabbat 27 - Look Here

". . .that you may look upon it. . ." (Num. 15:39)

This is the command for the tzitzit - the braided fringes on the four corners of the garment (tallit). The Talmud asks what about for a blind person? Does the obligation still hold for someone who does not see the fringes? After all, nightclothes do not need fringes, since the wearer does not see them!

According to R. Ashi who quotes the school of R. Ishmael, a blind person is still obligated to fringes because they are seen by others.

Again the sense of communal inclusion of those who might otherwise be, or feel, rejected.

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