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, July 3, 2013

Pesachim 13 – Elijah Rocks!

Leaven is to be burnt on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan (the night before Passover). But what if it is Shabbat?

If the fourteenth falls on the Sabbath, everything [sc. Leaven] must be removed before the Sabbath

And burnt. That makes sense. But what about trumah  the special offerings which are reserved for the priests?

and of the clean [terumah] food for two meals is left over, so as to eat until four hours

That is, one meal for Friday evening and one meal for Saturday – for the priest.

Said they to him: Clean [terumoth] should not be burnt, in case eaters may be found for them?

For example if priest should come visiting.

He replied: They have already sought [eaters] but not found [them].

[But maybe] they have spent the night outside the [city] wall?

Then on your reasoning, he retorted, even [trumah] in suspense should not be burnt, lest Elijah come and declare them clean?

Said they to him, it has long been assured to Israel that Elijah will come neither on the eve of the Sabbath nor on the eve of Festivals, on account of the trouble.

Elijah, who is supposed to come not only to announce the coming of the Messiah, but also to clear up all kinds of legal doubts and misunderstanding, is considerate enough not to come at the beginning of Shabbat or Festivals, because it would cause all kinds of inconvenience. You go, Elijah!

(One other thing on the page which doesn’t relate to the above: when the keepers of a charity have more goods or food than they can distribute – that cannot keep it or even sell it to themselves. Based on and ye shall be guiltless towards the Lord, and towards Israel [Num. 32:22] – avoiding even the appearance in impropriety.)

No comments:

Post a Comment