Tag: Learning Jewishly

“A little Torah is all anyone knows.”

The Talmud is tough because it assumes holistic knowledge of the whole Talmud, referencing texts and rulings that come much earlier or much later without stopping to really explain what the rabbis are talking about. The Talmud was not meant for beginners.”
— Dr. Sara Ronis

Be not ashamed to learn truth from any source.”
— Rabbi Shlomo ibn Gabirol (1021-1058)

L’Shana Tovah!

THE JEWISH LUNAR/SOLAR CALENDAR begins the New Year 5782 tonight at sundown. The classic understanding of that number reflects the years since the world’s creation, but many of us find that explanation somewhat problematic. On the other hand, humanity’s recorded…

… Cervantes compared translation to the other side of a tapestry. At best we see a rough outline of the pattern we know exists on the other side, but it lacks definition and is full of loose threads.”
— Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z”tl

Our relationship to Torah is not based on asserting its factual historicity — whether based on “proofs” or “assertion despite reason.” Instead, each individual’s connection to scripture is based on the premise that the biblical narrative reflects an authentic religious experience that envelops some sort of reality and expresses it in a narrative and poetic fashion.”
— Rabbi David Bigman, “Refracting History Through the Spiritual Experience of the Present”

When faced with [a piece or opinion of Torah] that is on its face absurd or contradictory, the rabbis do not dismiss it, but actively work to understand it. What would it look like for us, when someone says something apparently illogical and absurd, to assume that they are making some kind of internal sense and actually thoughtfully work to understand their reasoning?”
— Sara Ronis, “A Daily Dose of Talmud (Pesachim 78),” @myjewishlearning.com

The Torah Guides’ Torah Guides

THE TORAH CAN BE A great read — inspiring, comforting, uplifting, provocative — but without the explanatory input of generations of commentators, it can also be a bit daunting. Fortunately, Jewish tradition has portioned this essential text into weekly bites…

First Graf: Torah

(BE HONEST — YOU MUST HAVE known I’d get around to this one eventually, right?) I make no rigid claims of authenticity, accuracy, or authorship for this work. As far as I’m concerned, this is “simply” a collection of ancient…

Minute Mitzvah: Play Nice

Today: Don’t shame anyone. Explanation: When you make someone feel painfully self-conscious, you destroy a little piece of the world — and not only for them. Your own soul / psyche / personality suffers as well. In today’s hyperpartisan social…