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)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shabbat 141 – New Shoes!

We are getting into some small particulars on the Shabbat laws – including not scraping clay off of ones shoes directly onto a wall, because it can look like you a “building” it. Really.

The discussion of shoes continues: 

Our Rabbis taught: A small[-footed] man must not go out (in public on Shabbat) with the shoe of a large[-footed] man, but he may go out with [too] large a shirt.

The reason being that wearing too-large shoes, one might be tempted to carry shoes that fall off - but not a shirt. The carrying is the forbidden part. The size is a preventative measure. 

A woman must not go out with a gaping (floppy) shoe

For the same reason – or, Rashi suggests, because she might become embarrassed and take it off. The look, not just the fit, matters.

And one must not go out with a new shoe: 
of what shoe did they rule this? 
Of a woman's shoe.

Since, again – if the fit is not right, she might be tempted to carry them (and he wouldn’t?!) Now this is only about “new shoes”, that is having never been worn at all.

So, by all means get those shoes you’ve been looking at. But be sure to wear them at least once before Shabbat!

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