What Six Very Short Stories in the Babylonian Talmud Tell Us About Jewish Law and Life

With Dr. Judith Hauptman, E. Billi Ivry Professor Emerita of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture

By reading six very short stories in the Babylonian Talmud, we will discover that not just rabbinic pronouncements established Jewish law, but so did reports of rabbinic performance of the law. We will see Rabbis complying with, and sometime rebelling against, earlier stated rules. As we read these texts, we will tease out details of everyday life and relations between the sexes. Whether these anecdotes actually took place or not makes no difference. They are an invaluable source for understanding how the Rabbis viewed and modified transmitted traditions.

Stories and Storytelling

Join JTS scholars to explore a selection of stories drawn from ancient, rabbinic, medieval, and modern Jewish literature. We will consider the power of shared stories and how they transmit values, norms, culture, and information, bringing Jews together across time and space.