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)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eruvin 25 – Exedra

A particular kind of Roman architectural space is discussed. An exedra (spelled out phonetically in the Aramaic) is a room or portico here set outdoors with seating – often set in a semi-circular fashion for philosophical discussion. For the purposes of this discussion there is a roof, but no walls.

For was it not stated: If an exedra was situated in a valley

Rab ruled, it is permitted to move objects within all its interior (on Shabbat);

but Samuel ruled: Objects may be moved within four cubits only.

Rab ruled that it was permitted to move objects in all its interior, because we apply [the principle:] ‘The edge of the ceiling descends and closes up.’ But Samuel ruled that objects may be moved within four cubits only, because we do not apply [the principle:] ‘The edge of the ceiling descends and closes up?’

At dispute is the idea that a suspended roof can create ‘virtual walls’ which define the space.

Roman architecture and virtual space combine!

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