Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-First Century?

Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-First Century? : The Relevance of the Ancient Jewish Text to Our World

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Since religion in general and Judaism in particular are relevant in the twenty-first century, this book serves as an assessment of the Talmud's role in our religious and educational experience. This collection of essays demonstrates that the two-thousand-year-old Talmud remains the indispensable and foundational text for Jewish study. Eminent scholars from Israel and North America relate their encounters with this ancient, complex source in an accessible and personal manner.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 262 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739142003
  • 9780739142004
  • 2,279,664

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Talmud Introduction Part 2 Part I: Women's Voices Chapter 3 Chapter 1: Why Study Talmud in the 21st Century: The View from a Large Public University; Or, Studying Talmud as a Critical Thinker Chapter 4 Chapter 2: Female Alterity and Divine Compassion: Reading the Talmud from the Perspective of Gender Chapter 5 Chapter 3: Ancient Voices Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Talmud Study as a Religious Practice Chapter 7 Chapter 5: An Opened Book: Talmud Study by Women in the 21st Century Part 8 Part II: Teaching Talmud Chapter 9 Chapter 6: The Dialectics of the Divine Commanding Voice: Values, Meaning and Culture in the Talmud Chapter 10 Chapter 7: "Why Study Talmud in the Twenty-First Century?" Part 11 Part III: Academics Respond Chapter 12 Chapter 8: The Meaning and Purpose of Contemporary Talmud Study Chapter 13 Chapter 9: Why Study Talmud?* Chapter 14 Chapter 10: Why Study Talmud: Wellsprings of Torah and the Individual Soul Chapter 15 Chapter 11: Why I Study Talmud Chapter 16 Chapter 12: The Meaning and Significance of New Talmudic Insights Chapter 17 Chapter 13: Talmudic Stories and their Rewards Chapter 18 Chapter 14: The Shiva Chapter 19 Chapter 15: Engaging Rabbinic Literature: Four Texts Part 20 Part IV: A Philosopher's Approach Chapter 21 Chapter 16: The Talmud as a Source for Philosophical Reflection
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Review quote

Paul Socken has assembled a formidable group of Talmudic scholars in this important volume. The vastly different backgrounds of the contributors are moved into the foreground by the question he poses to them, asking them to account for their commitment to the Talmud. Thus he manages to produce an interesting and insightful choir of voices that are by turns deeply moving, contemplative, and humorous. The Talmud once again acquires a new face, and hence is carried forth into the twenty-first century with new excitement. -- Charlotte E. Fonrobert, Stanford University Rather than writing programmatic essays about why everyone should study Talmud, this group of sixteen leading Talmudists from a broad range of backgrounds has taken up the more modest goal of explaining why they personally study Talmud. Although each writer speaks individually, when taken together as a group, certain common themes emerge that can add up to something of a programmatic treatment... The scholarly, Jewish, and general reading communities owe Socken a great debt of gratitude for collecting these essays. The authors have provided us many profound reasons to continue, or perhaps begin, experiencing the joy of studying Talmud. Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
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About Paul Socken

Paul Socken is the founder of the Jewish Studies program at the University of Waterloo. He has been a professor of French literature there since 1973. He is the author of nine books and many scholarly articles.
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