Well, I’ve been so excited about moving that I almost forgot to write today’s post! Whoops! Despite being busy with moving, I’ve managed to finish 2 books, and to start reading 2 more on top of the ones I’ve already been reading. But mostly, I’ve been filing forms like change of address, taxes, and transfers at work. Life goes on!
It took me a while to finish these books, but I finally did it! Let me tell you, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic for a reason, and I’m already looking forward to reading it again! (I wonder if I can find a copy in French? 🤔)
- The Nature of Greek Myths by G.S. Kirk (read it for free here)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark (read it for free here)
Books In Progress
I’m currently reading 6 books, although I haven’t mentioned 1 of them to you before now. I haven’t mentioned it because it’s a book that I’ve read numerous times. That book is Frankenstein or a Modern Prometheus. But it’s a little different this time. This time, I’m reading it en français!
- The Way of Man: According to Hasidic Teaching by Martin Buber (read an excerpt here, get the book here)
- poésies choses de Victor Hugo (read it in English for free here)
- Women and Jewish Law: The Essential Texts, Their History, and Their Relevance For Today by Rachel Biale (get a copy here)
- L‘Ingénu by (one of my favorite authors) Voltaire (read it online for free in French here)
- Talmud (learn about the Talmud here)
- Frankenstein Ou le Prométhée Moderne (one of my favorite books) by Mary Shelley (read it for free in French here)
Talmud and Daf Yomi דף יומי&תַּלְמוּד
One of the books in my list this week stands out among the rest; the Talmud. The what? The Talmud is a book of intergenerational discussions between Rabbis regarding halacha AKA rabbinical law. You can get a better understanding of what the Talmud is, and what it is not, here.
The word ‘talmud’ literally means to ‘study.’ The Talmud isn’t something that’s just read; it’s a book of laws, customs, and history meant to be studied. Because of the density and dearth of subjects, the Talmud is often studied just a page a day. This practice is called ‘daf yomi’ (דף יומי), which literally means ‘daily page’. The process takes 7.5 years to complete the whole Talmud, and each day of the year has a specific page assigned to it. That means that anyone and everyone reading daf yomi will be reading the same page each day!
Like other books, it’s best to start at the beginning. But that isn’t necessarily necessary with the Talmud. This current daf yomi cycle started lat January, 2020, so if you wanted to wait to start at the beginning you’d be waiting for over 6 years!
Playing catch-up isn’t necessary either. Does it help to know what pages you missed? Sure. But studying over 400 pages of Talmud before starting daf yomi is no small feat!
If you’re interested in learning Talmud, I would recommend starting your daf yomi study with My Jewish Learning’s ‘Daily Dose of Talmud’ newsletter. You can sign up here! I highly recommend this email course, as it includes more modern commentary to help make sense of your studies.
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