rhu: (torah)
As I had hoped, here's a followup on my earlier review of the Koren/Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli now that I've been learning from it for a few weeks.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
As I had hoped, here's a followup on my earlier review of the Koren/Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli now that I've been learning from it for a few weeks.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
As we approach the beginning of the thirteenth cycle of the Daf Yomi, the "page-a-day" study program that covers the entire Babylonian Talmud in seven-and-a-half years, a bunch of new resources are becoming available. A few months ago, I breathlessly praised Koren Publications' new translation of Rabbi Steinsaltz's explication of the Talmud.

Today, I have the pleasure to review "Relics for the Present: Contemporary Reflections on the Talmud" by Rabbi Levi Cooper, which is published by Koren's Maggid imprint in conjunction with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. (Obligatory disclaimer: Koren sent me a review copy of this book.)

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
As we approach the beginning of the thirteenth cycle of the Daf Yomi, the "page-a-day" study program that covers the entire Babylonian Talmud in seven-and-a-half years, a bunch of new resources are becoming available. A few months ago, I breathlessly praised Koren Publications' new translation of Rabbi Steinsaltz's explication of the Talmud.

Today, I have the pleasure to review "Relics for the Present: Contemporary Reflections on the Talmud" by Rabbi Levi Cooper, which is published by Koren's Maggid imprint in conjunction with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. (Obligatory disclaimer: Koren sent me a review copy of this book.)

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
So for the past few months I've been working on rethinking the Dafcast website. And I'd like a sanity check here, folks. Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
So for the past few months I've been working on rethinking the Dafcast website. And I'd like a sanity check here, folks. Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
I got a sneak peek at the new Koren/Steinsaltz English Talmud Bavli this week. Regular readers of my blog know that I admire both Rabbi Steinsaltz and Koren Publications greatly. I am very pleased to report that this project blew me away, exceeding my expectations. Although I'm sure acquiring the entire set won't come inexpensively, I will find some way to afford to buy these as they come out. They're that amazing. [Disclaimer: Although Koren has been sending me review copies of some of their books, this review is based on a copy that I borrowed for a few days from my rabbi.]

My review -- long, and with pictures )

I look forward to getting my own copy so I can learn from it. When I do, I'll update this review.

My understanding is that Koren Publishers plans to release the entire set over the course of the next four years, faster than the Daf Yomi schedule. I wish them the financial success they deserve; this edition merits to become the new standard for English-language Talmud study.
rhu: (torah)
I got a sneak peek at the new Koren/Steinsaltz English Talmud Bavli this week. Regular readers of my blog know that I admire both Rabbi Steinsaltz and Koren Publications greatly. I am very pleased to report that this project blew me away, exceeding my expectations. Although I'm sure acquiring the entire set won't come inexpensively, I will find some way to afford to buy these as they come out. They're that amazing. [Disclaimer: Although Koren has been sending me review copies of some of their books, this review is based on a copy that I borrowed for a few days from my rabbi.]

My review -- long, and with pictures )

I look forward to getting my own copy so I can learn from it. When I do, I'll update this review.

My understanding is that Koren Publishers plans to release the entire set over the course of the next four years, faster than the Daf Yomi schedule. I wish them the financial success they deserve; this edition merits to become the new standard for English-language Talmud study.
rhu: (torah)
Today, the Daf Yomi started Horayot, the tractate that covers what happens when a court makes a mistake. The gist of it is that one who follows the court's ruling is patur, exempt from consequences, because they acted in good faith. But the Talmud makes it clear that that exemption only applies to the exact ruling of the court.

The first example that they gave was intriguing: If a woman's husband has disappeared, and two witnesses testify before the court that they saw him die, the court issues a decree that the woman is free to remarry. If she does so, and then her husband turns up alive, then although her second marriage is voided, she is not guilty of adultery or bigamy.

However, if instead of remarrying, she merely has sex with another man, then if her husband turns up alive she is guilty of adultery, because while the court issued a decree that she was free to remarry, they did not issue a decree that she was as free as an unmarried woman or an ordinary widow.

The end of the Mishna really troubled me, though. It says that if a member of the court, or any other individual who is a scholar, is certain that the court is erring, and he relies on their ruling anyway, he is not exempt from punishment. I am looking forward to reaching the Gemara's exploration of this section of the Mishna. Is it only in cases where the court ruled that a forbidden thing is permitted, and so an individual can (and should) continue to refrain from it? What implications does this have for the authority of a court to rule for its district? How does it relate to the famous story of Rabban Gamliel and R' Yehoshua b' Chanania, and their disagreement regarding the date of Yom Kippur, or the incident regarding the Oven of Akhnai?
rhu: (torah)
Today, the Daf Yomi started Horayot, the tractate that covers what happens when a court makes a mistake. The gist of it is that one who follows the court's ruling is patur, exempt from consequences, because they acted in good faith. But the Talmud makes it clear that that exemption only applies to the exact ruling of the court.

The first example that they gave was intriguing: If a woman's husband has disappeared, and two witnesses testify before the court that they saw him die, the court issues a decree that the woman is free to remarry. If she does so, and then her husband turns up alive, then although her second marriage is voided, she is not guilty of adultery or bigamy.

However, if instead of remarrying, she merely has sex with another man, then if her husband turns up alive she is guilty of adultery, because while the court issued a decree that she was free to remarry, they did not issue a decree that she was as free as an unmarried woman or an ordinary widow.

The end of the Mishna really troubled me, though. It says that if a member of the court, or any other individual who is a scholar, is certain that the court is erring, and he relies on their ruling anyway, he is not exempt from punishment. I am looking forward to reaching the Gemara's exploration of this section of the Mishna. Is it only in cases where the court ruled that a forbidden thing is permitted, and so an individual can (and should) continue to refrain from it? What implications does this have for the authority of a court to rule for its district? How does it relate to the famous story of Rabban Gamliel and R' Yehoshua b' Chanania, and their disagreement regarding the date of Yom Kippur, or the incident regarding the Oven of Akhnai?
rhu: (simpsonized)
I was catching up on Avodah Zarah today. This is the tractate that covers the laws regarding idolators. After two pages discussing the technical definition of a whore's fee, it shifted into a discussion of sending gifts to idolatrous friends on their festivals.

Cut for length )
rhu: (simpsonized)
I was catching up on Avodah Zarah today. This is the tractate that covers the laws regarding idolators. After two pages discussing the technical definition of a whore's fee, it shifted into a discussion of sending gifts to idolatrous friends on their festivals.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
I just posted my translation of page 9a of Tractate Megillah from the Babylonian Talmud. It touches briefly on fonts and deals extensively with issues of translation, so I thought I'd mention it in my main blog.
rhu: (torah)
I just posted my translation of page 9a of Tractate Megillah from the Babylonian Talmud. It touches briefly on fonts and deals extensively with issues of translation, so I thought I'd mention it in my main blog.
rhu: (torah)
Thanks to the excellent advice of [livejournal.com profile] introverte and [livejournal.com profile] michelel72, I am scaling back my plans to be ready for the start of Bava Kamma, and instead I'm going to try to finish Megillah by Purim. BK is 120 dapim, and Megillah is 30 --- and I'd already done 7 of those two years ago when I started the [livejournal.com profile] megillah2a blog. Having an entire masechta done is better than having a smattering of pilot episodes, because people could actually try learning the masechta the Dafcast way and get hooked.

So, Megillah 7 is up at the Dafcast site, and Megillah 8 is about halfway done and what's already translated has been posted. And for those who were following along in the LJ blog, I just posted the next excerpt from 7a and I plan to feed that blog again with the translations from Dafcast.

I need to go and backfill some spots in dapim 2-6, but right now my main focus is going to be on getting 8-17 (the rest of the first chapter) done before the end of November. At that point, I will call on those of you who expressed an interest in scriptifying to take my translations and start preparing them for recordings. (And I'll take a break from writing new translations by going back and filling in the gaps in the early pages.)
rhu: (torah)
Thanks to the excellent advice of [livejournal.com profile] introverte and [livejournal.com profile] michelel72, I am scaling back my plans to be ready for the start of Bava Kamma, and instead I'm going to try to finish Megillah by Purim. BK is 120 dapim, and Megillah is 30 --- and I'd already done 7 of those two years ago when I started the [livejournal.com profile] megillah2a blog. Having an entire masechta done is better than having a smattering of pilot episodes, because people could actually try learning the masechta the Dafcast way and get hooked.

So, Megillah 7 is up at the Dafcast site, and Megillah 8 is about halfway done and what's already translated has been posted. And for those who were following along in the LJ blog, I just posted the next excerpt from 7a and I plan to feed that blog again with the translations from Dafcast.

I need to go and backfill some spots in dapim 2-6, but right now my main focus is going to be on getting 8-17 (the rest of the first chapter) done before the end of November. At that point, I will call on those of you who expressed an interest in scriptifying to take my translations and start preparing them for recordings. (And I'll take a break from writing new translations by going back and filling in the gaps in the early pages.)
rhu: (torah)
Today's daf in the Daf Yomi is Kiddushin 34. This was supposed to be my third pilot episode, but, well... at least the translation is up.

This page is important because it covers the question of women's obligations in "thou shalt" commandments which are triggered by a specific time.
rhu: (torah)
Today's daf in the Daf Yomi is Kiddushin 34. This was supposed to be my third pilot episode, but, well... at least the translation is up.

This page is important because it covers the question of women's obligations in "thou shalt" commandments which are triggered by a specific time.
rhu: (torah)
Behind the cut is the email that I'm starting to send out about dafcast.net, my new website for translating the Babylonian Talmud. The site's official launch is today.

If you can think of any individuals or lists who might be interested, please copy-and-paste this email. Also, please consider cross-linking to this entry from your blog, if your readership contains the sort of people who might be into this.

Internet virality is the key here --- I'm hoping to find 1,400 volunteers, and have at least the first few hundred within seven weeks.

The email )
rhu: (torah)
Behind the cut is the email that I'm starting to send out about dafcast.net, my new website for translating the Babylonian Talmud. The site's official launch is today.

If you can think of any individuals or lists who might be interested, please copy-and-paste this email. Also, please consider cross-linking to this entry from your blog, if your readership contains the sort of people who might be into this.

Internet virality is the key here --- I'm hoping to find 1,400 volunteers, and have at least the first few hundred within seven weeks.

The email )

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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