Then and Now
Talmud

Tagging the Talmud

This essay is cross-posted at thetalmud.com where it kicks off a series on digital humanities. The other week I attended a workshop called Classical Philology Goes Digital Workshop in Potsdam, Germany.  The major goal of the workshop, which was also tied to the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities was to further the work of creating and analyzing...

On Jewish Betrothal

I recently wrote an essay for thegemara.com on the origins of Jewish betrothal.  The primary but not only context for this essay is to provide a new, historical lens for those who, working through the “daf yomi” cycle of reading a page of Talmud each day through to its completion, have just started tractate Kiddushin. ...

Mapping the Talmud

Over the last year I have been experimenting with “concept mapping” in my classes.  In my latest experiment I had my undergraduate students use a software package called CMap to “map” or outline a passage of Talmud that we have been studying this semester.  The assignment ended up far exceeding my own pedagogical goals. Concept...

Fanatics

  We need fanatics. By keeping true to their ideological positions – whether by threatening to bring down the modern global financial markets or by banning vegetables for consumption because they contain microscopic bugs – they remind us of the power and importance of their ideas. Fanatics are very good as serving as embodied and...

The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Talmud

This is not an installment of “From Israelite to Jew,” but is instead a reading of an essay recently published on Zeek, an online journal. The written version is here. This is a meditation on the Talmud as read through Tolstoy, and how such a reading can generate a useful stance in the modern world....