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Vocalized Oz veHadar Talmud

It seems that Oz VeHadar has begun to sell a vocalized Babylonian Talmud, and the first volume has apparently sold out. I am a big supporter of vocalized rabbinic texts and have written about vocalized rabbinic and Talmudic texts here.

In-Depth Radio Interview with Malka Puterkovsky

Below are videos from Youtube of an in-depth radio interview (Hebrew) with Malka Puterkovsky from Radio All for Peace. For previous posts on Malka Puterkovsky and her recently book, Mehalekhet be-Darka, see here, here and here.

Passing of Rabbi David Feldman

Rabbi David Feldman z”l, who was the rabbi of the Teaneck Jewish Center for many years has passed away. Rabbi Feldman was an authority on medical ethics and Jewish law, and was the author of the influential book Birth Control in Jewish Law: Marital Relations, Contraception, and Abortion As Set Forth in the Classic Texts of Jewish Law (it has appeared under other titles in other editions). יהי זכרו ברוך.

Siyyum HaShas for an Eight-Year-Old

All of the details aren’t clear to me, but it does seems like an eight-year-old girl has learned a lot of Gemara.

The Sustaining Page of Talmud


Rabbi Dov Berkowitz’s reputation as a teacher of Talmud and rabbinic literature is well known. He teaches in numerous Israeli institutions and is a prolific author. Earlier this year he began published a commentary on the Talmud called הדף הקיומי (The Sustaining Page of Talmud). He has published another volume, this time on Seder Nashim. Ynet has an article (Hebrew) about this volume and the issues relating to gender that it addresses and which are related to the study of Talmud.

More MSS from the British Library

The British Library has just uploaded more than three hundred Hebrew MSS. They have uploaded some beautiful medieval Hebrew manuscripts. Details and some images can be found in this post. A list of the Hebrew manuscripts online can be found here.

New Book: Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz


I can’t wait to get my hands on this new book by Elisheva Baumgarten, Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz: Men, Women, and Everyday Religious Observance.

In the urban communities of medieval Germany and northern France, the beliefs, observances, and practices of Jews allowed them to create and define their communities on their own terms as well as in relation to the surrounding Christian society. Although medieval Jewish texts were written by a learned elite, the laity also observed many religious rituals as part of their everyday life. In Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz, Elisheva Baumgarten asks how Jews, especially those who were not learned, expressed their belonging to a minority community and how their convictions and deeds were made apparent to both their Jewish peers and the Christian majority.

Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz provides a social history of religious practice in context, particularly with regard to the ways Jews and Christians, separately and jointly, treated their male and female members. Medieval Jews often shared practices and beliefs with their Christian neighbors, and numerous notions and norms were appropriated by one community from the other. By depicting a dynamic interfaith landscape and a diverse representation of believers, Baumgarten offers a fresh assessment of Jewish practice and the shared elements that composed the piety of Jews in relation to their Christian neighbors.

Here is the table of contents:

Chapter 1. Standing Before God: Purity and Impurity in the Synagogue
Chapter 2. Jewish Fasting and Atonement in a Christian Context
Chapter 3. Communal Charity: Evidence from Medieval Nürnberg
Chapter 4. Positive Time-Bound Commandments: Class, Gender, and Transformation
Chapter 5. Conspicuous in the City: Medieval Jews in Urban Centers
Chapter 6. Feigning Piety: Tracing Two Tales of Pious Pretenders
Chapter 7. Practicing Piety: Social and Comparative Perspectives

The Making of the Talmudic Encyclopedia

This is an excerpt from an article about the Encyclopedia Talmudit:

The importance and popularity of the Talmudic Encyclopedia is in its accessibility not only to scholars, but to anyone who wants to understand certain phrases or concepts or ideas within the vast world of Torah knowledge or Judaism, and who does not have the opportunity or ability to wade through thousands of tomes of recorded Jewish scholarship. This, combined with the reliability, accuracy and condensed style is unparalleled in the halakhic literature.

Why Learn Talmud

This looks like a nice series of programs at Drisha:


Wednesday Evenings, 6:30-9:00pm:
October 29, November 5 & 12

Each evening will begin at 6:30 with a choice of workshops.
At 7:15, we will break for tefilat ma’ariv, refreshments, and informal conversation.
At 7:45, we will join together in the beit midrash for a lecture or panel discussion.

We invite educators, rabbis, students, parents, and all interested members of the community to participate in this conversation.

WORKSHOPS – 6:30-7:15pm
(each workshop meets for three weeks)

Existential Dialogue: The Complex Human Spirit of the Talmud-Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard

Ancient Texts, Modern Lessons-Yaffa Epstein

Archeological Talmud: Digging Deeper-Rabbi Ysoscher Katz

What Does the Talmud Say About Talmud?-Rabbi Jon Kelsen

LECTURES – 7:45-9:00pm

October 29:
Talmud Study as a Religious Practice-Dr. Devora Steinmetz

November 5:

The ‘Conceptual’ Approach to Talmud Study: Where Has It Been, Where Is It Going, and Why Does It Matter?-Professor Chaim Saiman

November 12:
Navigating the Sea of Talmud: Study, Teaching, and Personal Religious Meaning
Dr. Alyssa Gray, Rabbi Dov Linzer, and Rabbi Ethan Tucker
in conversation


All sessions meet at Drisha – 37 West 65th Street, 5th floor
For more information on sessions and presenters, visit
To pre-register, call 212-595-0307 or email

There is no fee for this program.
We welcome contributions to support our work.

This event is sponsored by Drisha Institute in partnership with Mechon Hadar, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and Yeshivat Maharat.

Israeli News Program on Religious Zionism

Israeli Channel 10 has been broadcasting a series of broadcasts on the current state of religious zionism in Israel. During each episode, the reporter, Roi Sharon, focuses on a different issue. All of the broadcasts are in Hebrew.

1. Episode 1-Focuses on the tensions between the “Hardal” and more liberal religious elements within religious zionism.

2. Episode 2-Features an extended interview with Rabbi Eli Sedan, the founder of the pre-army academy (מכינה קדם צבאית) in Eli, Bnei David.

3. Episode 3-Relations between Sephardim and Ashkenazim in the religious zionist sector.




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