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 28, 2012

Shabbat 86 – Revelation: Its a Shabbat Thing

Fixing the day and date of the Revelation at Sinai. There is some disagreement about whether it took place on the sixth or seventh of the Hebrew month Sivan. However, the day of the week is known:

all agree that the Torah was given to Israel on the Sabbath.

Now this is not just wishful thinking – it is determined by a textual analysis:

[For] here it is written [in the Ten Commandments given at Sinai], Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8) and elsewhere it is written, And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day (Ex. 13:3).

Comparing the similarity of the phrase: zachor et yom haShabbat and zachor et hayom haze

Just as there (the second phrase relating to Exodus), [G-d spoke] on that very day, so here too (the first phrase relating to Shabbat) was on that very day.

Therefore – the law of Shabbat (along with all the others) was given on Shabbat!

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