Close Encounters With Talmud
Seven months into a seven-and-a-half-year study cycle, book critic Adam Kirsch is hooked—and flummoxed
As an author and literary critic (including for Tablet), Adam Kirsch has written about Lionel Trilling, Benjamin Disraeli, Emily Dickinson, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, among many others. This past August, he moved into less familiar territory when he joined the tens of thousands of Jews participating in Daf Yomi, studying a page of Talmud a day. The study cycle will take seven and a half years to complete. Since he began, Kirsch has been writing a weekly column to share his reflections on these essential Jewish texts, and on the Daf Yomi process itself.
On today’s Vox Tablet, Kirsch shares some of those reflections with Jonathan Rosen, author of The Talmud and the Internet, and editor of the Jewish Encounters series, published by Nextbook Press. Together, they consider the value of studying Jewish law even if you don’t intend to follow it and marvel at the complex logic, outlandish scenarios, and deeply human responses to be found within these pages. [Running time: 22:28.]
Beards are having their pop cultural moment, but Jews have always known the value of a furry face
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.