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