Tag Archives: talmud-midrash

(Antique Foodways) Idle Talk (Ecclesiastes Rabbah)

“All things toil to weariness, [a person] cannot utter it” (Eccles. 1;8). Idle talk wearies [a person]: “The partridge today is pickled with garlic.” The side of the [animal] is like lead.””Cut thin slices.” “Roasted with mustard.” “Portions which deserve … Continue reading

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Talmud & The Casuistic Style (Shlomo Deshen & the Jews of Morocco)

Working through 18th and 19th century halakhic sources (in this case, responsa) to get a bead on traditional Moroccan Jewish life prior to formal colonial period (prior to the establishment of the French protectorate in 1912), Shlomo Deshen said something … Continue reading

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Tisha B’Av Lament (Reading Lamentations Rabbah)

No political hot take, Lamentations Rabbah, the rabbinic commentary to the biblical book, is an ambiguous lament. This is more true of the main body of the text as opposed to the by-and-large more “orthodox” proems, focused as these are upon … Continue reading

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Text Unbound (Re-)Imagining the Talmud (Bard College)

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(Doubts) Ashkenaz & Philosophy

Continuing to go out on a limb and meant to pick up a challenge posed by colleague-friends about the need for Modern Jewish Studies and Jewish Philosophy and Thought to take into account the life and thought world of Eastern … Continue reading

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(Rabbinic Fantasy & The Land of Israel) Tractate Ketubot Is More Complex Than Zionism or Anti-Zionism

The concluding mishna and gemara of tractate Ketubot is a locus classicus of Haredi anti-Zionism and an even more interesting textual unit in its own right. It is most famous for the almost mythic posing of three primary vows in … Continue reading

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Virtual Judaism of the Mishnah (Jacob Neusner & Gilles Deleuze)

Reading Neusner’s classic Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah at long last and past midcareer. I am unsure if earlier I would have ever appreciated the book enough or at all or I would have been able to conceive the … Continue reading

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