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 6, 2012

Shabbat 3 – It Takes One (Not Two)

Continuing the discussion of handing from one domain to another – only someone who performs a whole forbidden action is liable, but if two people are required to complete it (i.e. handing and taking across a domain), neither is liable. Based on Lev. 4:27 “And if any one of the common people sins through ignorance, when he does something against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done. . .” The emphasis being on “one.”

There is also the discussion of a karmelit – a “in between” space, neither public nor private. It is forbidden to transfer from karmelit to pubic or to private. A hand reaching out is like this in-between space – it does not present a problem until it returns to the body with the object. One can imagine a person standing with hand outstreached between two domains all Shabbat long, unable to move until Shabbat ends!

The truth is no one would be required to do this, but guilt or innocence would depend on whether the initial movement was intentional or not!


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