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Bagels in Babylonia
February 24 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Talmud is the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism, and in that respect, it is the foundation of Judaism as we know and experience it. The Talmud was compiled between 200 and 500 C.E. and is comprised of the Mishnah and the Gemara. While sometimes referred to as “oral law,” the Talmud is much more than a legal text—it is the interpretation of all aspects of the Tanakh (the Torah, books of the prophets, and other canonical Jewish texts). Together, the Mishnah and Gemara reflect millenia of discourse about the meaning of the Tanakh—its laws, stories, and traditions. The Talmud addresses all aspects of life—from contracts to torts, to individual and societal virtues and vices, and from the private to the political. Its pages are filled with insight into why we do what we do as Jews and how we look at the world, even though we are living far from the times it describes.
The Talmud is a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic (the lingua franca of the Middle East of the time), but thankfully you do not need to know either language to learn Talmud! There are now wonderful English translations available and we will rely on those translations when we meet. Each of our meetings will work through a particular section of Mishnah and Gemara, so if you miss a class—don’t worry about it—you won’t fall behind. Bagels and coffee will be served! Faculty: Rafi Licht
Sundays 2/24, 3/24, 4/28, & 5/19