Close Encounters With Talmud

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.]

Vox Tablet

This is Vox Tablet, the weekly podcast of Tablet Magazine, the online Jewish arts and culture magazine that used to be known as Nextbook.org. Our archive of podcasts is available on our site, tablet2015.wpengine.com. Vox Tablet, hosted by Sara Ivry, varies widely in subject matter and sound -- one week it's a conversation with novelist Michael Chabon, theater critic Alisa Solomon, or anthropologist Ruth Behar. Another week brings the listener to "the etrog man" hocking his wares at a fruit-juice stand in a Jersualem market. Or into the hotel room with poet and rock musician David Berman an hour before he and his band, Silver Jews, head over to their next gig. Recent guests include Alex Ross, Shalom Auslander, Aline K. Crumb, Howard Jacobson, and the late Norman Mailer.

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