Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review of Weiss and Stav, The Return of the Missing Father

THE TALMUD BLOG: Weiss and Stav’s “The Return of the Missing Father”.
Haim Weiss and Shira Stav, The Return of the Missing Father: A New Reading of a Chain of Stories from the Babylonian Talmud (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2018) – Review by Mira Balberg
But The Return of the Missing Father (in Hebrew: שובו של האב הנעדר), co-authored by Haim Weiss and Shira Stav and recently published by Mosad Bialik, shows just how much we have missed, and how valuable a fresh perspective on a seemingly well-trodden set of texts can be. This small and unpretentious book offers a new reading of the seven said stories in Kettubot (alongside multiple relevant intertexts), and it succeeds in uncovering aspects of these stories that went unnoticed so far. This may sound like a rather modest contribution – providing some compelling nuggets of insight on familiar passages – but in my view this book does much more than that. In its unassuming way, it urges us to reassess some of our most established habits when reading rabbinic literature, and to be much more courageous, methodologically and analytically, in reading Talmudic texts as literature.
HT AJR. It's good to see more activity on the Talmud Blog lately.

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