Reconsidering Hillel, the legendary rabbi whose distillation of Judaism’s core teachings still applies
A rabbi is challenged to boil down all of Judaism into a few sentences. He rises to the occasion, saying: What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. This is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary. Now go and learn.
Though uttered some 2,000 years ago by the great Talmudic rabbi, Hillel, that advice is still apt today. Its astuteness has so impressed Rabbi Joseph Telushkin over the years that Hillel has become one of Telushkin’s personal heroes. Now Telushkin has written a book about Hillel for Nextbook Press. It’s called Hillel: If Not Now, When? and Telushkin joins Sara Ivry on Vox Tablet to talk about the Talmudist’s approach to conversion; his chief rabbinical rival, Shammai; and about how Hillel would rather sit in the snow than risk missing a good Torah lesson.