Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Talmud on the logic of sacrifice

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: If A, Then B. Through Daf Yomi’s exercises in mathematical logic, Talmudic rabbis attempt to decipher the will of a reasonable God. Plus: What distinguishes guilt from sin?
At one point in this week’s Daf Yomi reading, Rabbi Yehoshua put a stop to the Gemara’s discussion by saying that it was halila, “going around in circles.” I often had the same feeling as we delved further into Tractate Zevachim, the section of the Talmud that deals with slaughtered offerings in the ancient Temple. That is because, while the subject matter of this tractate may seem highly concrete—it is all about killing animals and how to sacrifice their blood and flesh—it actually involves the kind of abstract logical reasoning you might find in a logic puzzle or LSAT question, which has never been my strong suit.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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