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, December 21, 2012

Shabbat 79 - Higher Sanctity

"When tefillin or a Torah Scroll wear out, a mezuzah may not be made of them, because we may not debase [anything] from a weighty sanctity (higher) to a lighter sanctity (lower)."

The holiness (kadosh) of objects like a Torah scroll or the text inside the teffillin cannot be lessened even for the purpose of making a holy object like the text inside the mezuzah. There is honor in maintaining sacredness.

We sometimes try to make calculations or excuse certain behaviors "for a good cause." But sacred means to be set aside - maintained. Don't debase the sacredness within yourself or others.

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