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, May 16, 2013

Eruvin 69 – Barefaced Charm

The ability to renounce shares in the eruv is a right of Israelites. A Sadducee is mentioned in the Mishnah by R. Gamaliel with the implication that he is in the same status as a gentile in terms of participation in Sabbath law such as the eruv. On the previous page the Sadducee is put in the same category as a Boethusian.

Our page compares an apostate “mumar” with a “barefaced sinner” (galui peh). Are they able to participate in the eruv?

But is a barefaced (beardless?) sinner on a par with a mumar?

How to contrast them? This may have to do with one who desecrates the Sabbath in public verses in private:

R. Huna stated: Who is regarded as an Israelite in mumar? He who desecrates the Sabbath in public. Said R. Nahman to him: In agreement with whose view? If [it be suggested that it is] in agreement with that of R. Meir who holds that a person who is suspected of disregarding one matter [of law] is held suspect in regard to all the Torah, the statement should also apply to any of the other prohibitions of the Torah; and if [it is suggested that it is] in agreement with the view of the Rabbis did they not rule, it may be objected, that one who is suspected of disregarding one law is not held suspected in regard to all the Torah unless he is a mumar in respect of idolatry.

So the assumption that someone who desecrates some laws should in held is suspect of all laws is questioned. Although it is later shown that “idolatry and the desecration of the Sabbath are offences of equal gravity.”

But a case is also brought up:

A certain man once went out (on the Sabbath) with a jewelled charm (“Humarta di-medusha” – maybe a Medusa headed-charm? See Mo’ed Katan 12b) but when he observed R. Judah Nesi'ah he covered it up. ‘A person of this type’, [the Master said.] ‘is in accordance with the view of R. Judah entitled to renounce his share’. (i.e. is considered an Israelite in all respects).

Shame counts!

No comments:

Post a Comment