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)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shabbat 7 - Height Limits, Public and Private

In a private space, for an object thrown from a public space on Shabbat - landing has no height limitation:

"R. Hisda said: If one fixes a rod in private ground and throws [an article from the street] and it alights on the top, even if it is a hundred cubits high, he is liable, because private ground extends up to heaven’."

But in public space there is:

"Rabbah b. Shila said in R. Hisda's name: If a brick is standing upright in the street, and one throws [an article]16 and it adheres to its side, he is liable; on top, he is not liable. Abaye and Raba both state: Providing that it is three handbreadths high, so that the public do not step on it"

This is because 'public space' is defined as a place where many people go. A brick 3 hands tall will not be stepped on, people will step around it. It's sides, however, serve only as a temporary resting place - eventually, something landing there will fall to the street and therefore is considered a public place.

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