Although Talmud is largely about law, it should not be confused with either codes of law or with a commentary on the Torah . Due to its spare style, the Talmud is studied, not read. The difficulty of the intergenerational text has necessitated the development of yeshivot throughout the world. In this class, we will explore how the Talmud came to be written, and the impact its compilation has had on Jewish life to this day.
Moshe retorted, “Ruler of the Universe, show this man to me.” The Holy One said, “Turn around!”
Moshe found himself sitting in the back of Rabbi Akiva’s beit midrash (classroom) and he did not understand a word that was being said. He felt faint and frustrated. When the class reacted a certain point in the discussion, a student asked Rabbi Akiva, “Rabbi, what is the source for this ruling?” He said, “It is a law given unto Moshe at Sinai.”
One reading of why this time tunnel story was written suggested that it is in the Talmud to teach us that “Torah study is not the automatic emulation of what previous generations have thought; instead, each of us has the opportunity to offer a new explanation of the crowns adorning the letters in the Torah’s text. In other words, an internal, original spring flows from the Torah, and this fact fully legitimizes Akiva’s introduction of new laws that were not transmitted to Moshe at Mount Sinai.” Do you agree?
Create a poster campaign that you think will encourage all the people who came to protest the burning of the Talmud, to join a regular Daf Yomi (learning a page of Talmud each day) class. Your poster campaign should include three arguments about the benefits of studying Talmud, creative artwork and a hashtag.