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, May 21, 2013

Eruvin 74 - The Alley of Eibuth b. Ihi

The question remains of whether a dwelling is defined by eating or sleeping.

The story is told of a certain alley by the home of Eibut b. Ihi. He put up a side-post in the alley to define it as a private space. This met with the approval of Samuel. But when the master died, R. Anan came by and tore down the side-post.

This, you can imagine, was not a very popular move. At least from the perspective of Eibuth b. Ihi:

I have been living undisturbed in this alley on the authority of Samuel, why should R. Anan b. Rab now come and throw its side-post down!

Well you might ask.

It turned out that there was a synagogue next to the alley and they shared a courtyard. The superintendent of the synagogue (hazna – hazan?) used to take his meals at home and sleep in the synagogue at night, a practice he discontinued when Samuel died. Eibuth b. Ihi understood the side-post to be in allowed because sleeping in a place constituted dwelling. R. Anan b. Rab disagreed.

Tear it down!

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