Monday, January 06, 2020

The Talmud on detecting puberty

THE MOST RECENT DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: GIRL, YOU’LL BE A WOMAN SOON. As the seven-and-a-half-year cycle of page-a-day ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study comes to a close, the ancient rabbis discuss when adolescence ends and compare female sexual maturity to ripening figs.
Each volume of the Koren Talmud Bavli comes in a dust jacket that bears an image related to its contents. Avoda Zara, about idol worship, features a marble bust of a Greek god; Menachot, about meal offerings, has an illustration of a sacred vessel full of flour. So I was curious, as Tractate Nidda approached, how the publishers would choose to illustrate a volume whose main subject is menstrual blood. Their clever solution was to use an image of figs, for reasons that Daf Yomi readers discovered in last week’s reading.

And then there's this:
It feels strange to say this, but after seven and a half years, this is the next to last column in my series about Daf Yomi. The cycle concludes on Jan. 4 with the last page in Tractate Nidda, before starting all over again the next day with the first page of Berachot. Next month, in my final column, I will reflect on my long talmudic journey and on the Siyum HaShas, which will bring together 90,000 Jews to celebrate the Daf Yomi experience on New Year’s Day.
The new Daf Yomi began yesterday on Sunday, 5 January. I will have a few more comments to go with Adam Kirsch's final Daf Yomi column in the coming week.

But meanwhile, you can hear an inverview with Adam about his seven-and-a-half-year Daf Yomi experience on Tablet's Best Food Forward podcast, Ep. 210. The interview begins around 16:20 and lasts 22 minutes.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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