Sunday, October 22, 2017

A political science professor looks at the Talmud

TALMUD WATCH: Talmud as seen by a political scientist (Ira Sharkansky, San Diego Jewish World).
JERUSALEM — For something like 15 years, I’ve been studying Talmud Shabbat mornings for an hour or so with a religious (i.e., Orthodox) neighbor. We’ve been friends for more than 40 years, since we were both at the University of Wisconsin.

I’ve commented several times, perhaps not to his delight, and to other religious friends, also not to their delight, that the experience has made me more Jewish but less religious.

The short explanation is that I perceive what is trivial and even ridiculous in the holy text, along with considerable wisdom and much to admire intellectually.

A thoughtful and wide-ranging overview of the topic by a nonspecialist.

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