Talmudic Stories as Cultural Criticism: How Talmud Can Inform our Public/Private Policy Discussions


June 22, 2010 - 7:30pm


Yeshivat Hadar, 190 Amsterdam Ave., at 69th St.

Join us on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., for a community dinner followed by a Beit Midrash series entitled: Talmudic Stories as Cultural Criticism: Bringing the Talmud back to our Public/Private Policy Discussions, taught by Mishael Zion, at 7:30 p.m. This week's class is entitled: Tikkun Olam, the Ivory Tower and Plato's Cave: Between Learning and Doing.

Our lives are full of challenging and sometimes maddening dichotomies. Do we focus inward on our own spiritual lives, or do we devote our energies to social action? Which takes precedence, family or work? The body or the mind? These are all issues that we – and Talmudic society - struggled with. In particular, they told stories in order to work through these issues. This summer, our mission for the community Beit Midrash is to reclaim Talmudic stories as a rich tool for exploring these questions. Reading these stories through critical, scholarly, personal and contemporary lenses, we will challenge ourselves and our texts to together build a better community, one where the Talmud regains its role as a centerpiece of our culture.


Mishael Zion is a faculty member at Mechon Hadar.  He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning in New York and a student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. Mishael was born and raised in Jerusalem, where he served on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. He is co-author of A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices (2007).

When: Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m., June 15 through July 27

Where: Yeshivat Hadar, 190 Amsterdam Ave., at 69th St.

Cost: $5 per class                                      

Learn more at http://www.kehilathadar.org/learning/project  

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