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)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Shabbat 9 - Get to It

The Mishnah, on a tangent away from Shabbat laws, puts a priority on prayer at the proper time. One does not begin certain activities (getting a haircut, going to the baths, sitting down to a meal ,going to a tannery, sitting for a lawsuit) before the afternoon (Mincha) prayer. The Talmud explains that the fear is the activities might become extended and one will miss the prayer.

Interesting snapshots into daily life and business as the specific tasks are unpacked. For example, it seems that either the Babylonian Jewish men or those still in Israel (the text is unclear which) wore tightly belted clothes which had to be loosened before eating!

In any case the message is clear: take care of the important things (prayer) first.

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