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)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eruvin 47 - Absent Owner

A general principle was laid down:

In a dispute between R. Judah and R. Simeon the halachah is in agreement with R. Judah

And so for pages there has been a dispute about possible exceptions to that rule. The examples are far ranging, including the time that a widow must wait before remarrying.

Another example:

If a man left his house and went to spend the Sabbath in another town, whether he was a gentile or an Israelite, [his share of the courtyard ] imposes restrictions on the residents of the courtyard; (according to R. Meir.) R. Judah ruled: It imposes no restrictions.

Being absent, he could not share in the preparations of their shared courtyard. Is less of the space available to the remaining residents, or no?

R. Jose ruled: [The share of] a gentile imposes restrictions, but that of an Israelite does not impose any restrictions because it is not usual for an Israelite to return on a Sabbath. (while a gentile might, and therefore reclaim his share).

R. Simeon ruled: Even if he left his house and went to spend the Sabbath with his daughter in the same town [his share] imposes no restrictions since he had no intention to return’;

in connection with which R. Hama b. Goria stated in the name of Rab, ‘The halachah is in agreement with R. Simeon’. For who is it that differed from him? R. Judah of course; but has it not been laid down that ‘In a dispute between R. Judah and R. Simeon the halachah is in agreement with R. Judah’?

Score one for R. Simon.

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