Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
In the hour-long class, Rabbi Binyomin Bitton, director of Chabad of Downtown Vancouver and dean of the Jewish Academy there, dissects a complex Talmudic narrative and shows how it remains applicable in day-to-day life.
“The class starts at the literal level, then goes deeper and deeper,” says Susan Katz, a freelance writer and regular attendee of the “Talmud for Beginners” class. The class then discusses everyday situations and learns how to apply the Talmud and the thought processes behind it, says Katz.
Bitton’s calming demeanor and slightly French-accented voice set the tone to delve into daily life scenarios as they were seen by the Talmudic sages thousands of years ago. “Talmudic logic, principles, debates and discussions,” he explains, “help you analyze situations and issues from many angles, to come up with creative logical solutions to complex issues and conflicts, and help you to think ‘out of the box’ and discover that there is always another perspective to the matter.”
The crux of the Talmud is a commentary on the Mishnah. Written around the year 165 of the Common Era, the Mishnah was the first codification of Jewish “oral law” as handed down from generation to generation, from the times of Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It took more than 200 years to write the Talmud, beginning around the year 220.
The Talmud, Bitton says to his class, is based on explaining the minute details of the Mishnah and its wording: “The Talmud is telling us that every word of the Mishnah is so precise and is chosen very carefully to tell us something.”
The first in the series of four classes will focus on “Liability for Damage.” It airs on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. EST, with subsequent lessons airing on Thursdays at the same hour. They also can be viewed afterwards at any time of the day on Jewish.tv.
Diving Into the Nitty-Gritty
“Rabbi Bitton zeroes in on a specific subject and presents it in an easy-to-understand and well-illustrated fashion,” says Rabbi Shmuel Lifshitz, director of Jewish.tv. “He skillfully helps the student to think ‘Talmudically’ and to gain the tools for studying Talmud.”
The first class examines the ramifications of what transpires when an object for sale is included in a certain category of goods. For example, what happens when an object that was purchased turns out to be different than described? What if someone had used the Hebrew word for “barrel,” and the item was indeed more like a “pitcher”?
The class discusses that while most people would, of course, understand it to be a barrel and nothing else, some may believe it to be a pitcher. Is such a sale valid or not? And does one take into account what the seller thought, based on an innate understanding of an item or a difference in terminology?
“The class gives me a way to take a situation with many possibilities and helps me narrow it down to look at a situation,” says Katz.
She explains that in life, multiple people share responsibility for a particular situation. For example, “if someone leaves a piece of pottery on the sidewalk and I break it,” is the fault of the one who placed it there or the one who stepped on it?
“The Talmud gives me the understanding of how to resolve the situation. It goes beyond civil law because there is also a sense of purpose, and it affirms the place of kindness and looking at a person as a person, and the ramifications it will have in their life. It teaches us how to relate to each other and how to take the other person into the equation, too.”
The debate around the table in Vancouver tries to probe the attendees to come up with their own logical responses. Says Bitton: “There is a depth and intellectual level that is unique within the Talmud. It challenges the mind like no other wisdom, and gives the individual a sentiment of intellectual achievement and appreciation that only the Talmud can give.”
Katz says she would encourage anyone to join the class—“to appreciate, understand and grasp a new way of understanding your daily interactions.”
About the Author: Chabad.org is a division of the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, under the auspices of the Lubavitch World Headquarters
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
No tweets found.
Either Kerry is smoking something weird, Livni is selling Israel up the creek or Bennett is about to break up the government. Kerry: We are close than ever to an agreement; Bennett: Start annexing.
If the United States is so concerned about Israel’s security, why did it pressure Netanyahu into resuming “peace talks” by freeing PA murders who freely say they have “no regrets” for killing Jews?
The proceeds from the property sale may not be used cover the synagogue’s financial needs.
Netanyahu finally has learned to repeat the same and telling points over and over: Abbas must view Israel as a Jewish state and Obama must see that a diplomatic solution in Iran requires a military threat.
Cuban Jewish leaders met with imprisoned Jewish-American contractor on the last day of Hanukkah, two days after Gross marked his fourth year in jail in Cuba. “During the encounter we could see that he was in better spirits, more physically recovered,” according to a statement from the Beth Shalom Temple in Havana according to the […]
None of us support violence and we found out about the story in the media, just like every one else.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, has come up with a fantastic plan to solve Israel’s apartment shortage but it has one large problem – a cost of approximately $14 billion, according to an estimate by Globes business newspaper. That may be par for the course for the former journalist who didn’t […]
Development of a modern highway has unearthed the discovery of an Islamic period fountain in a private garden outside the richer ares of Old Ramla, near the airport.
Moshe Kachlon, the former Likud minister who busted the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel, announced on Sunday he is forming a new party to run in the next scheduled elections in 2017, assuming the current coalition holds together that long. Kachlon resisted appeals from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to run again in the previous elections […]
An estimated 7 million foreign workers live in Saudi Arabia, which does not recognize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Israel is among the countries with a high risk of corruption in defense budgets.
The Pentagon is fielding more than 35,000 troops in the Persian Gulf as a “bulwark against aggression.”
At an International economic forum in Jakarta, the foreign ministers only wanted to hear how Israel can help their respective countries.
To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.
Doesn’t it look like the bus in the photograph is pushing the bearded guy along the slick pavement? Is the guy drinking a cup of coffee calmly? No, it’s just a Haredi demonstrator in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, blocking the bus during a protest against the government proposal to draft Haredim into the military. It’s a […]
Demanding no enrichment, Obama said, was unrealistic.
“It was quite an institutionalized racism, and we didn’t come to get involved in politics.”
We are brought into this confusing, fascinating, infuriating world for such a short amount of time, and it’s our mission to accomplish what we can for the several decades we are allotted.
If one has only enough money to afford either a cup of wine for Shabbat kiddush or oil for his Hanukkah lamp, the mitzvah of Hanukkah takes precedence.
Originally published at Chabad.org. Chabad Lubavitch emissaries will begin arriving in New York next week from all parts of the world for the Kinus Hashluchim—the annual get-together of emissaries, their parents, friends and supporters, and a record number are expected to attend this year. Organizers have spent more than six months planning for the Chabad […]
The Torah they got “is a piece of art. It is one of the most beautiful Torahs anyone’s ever seen…”
Some 300 people came specifically because of the floods.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/talmud-takes-to-jewish-tv/2013/08/09/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: