Scholarly yet readable, The Sea of Talmud combines basic, authoritative information on the Talmud with the author's unique and personal journey to traditional Judaism. Tracing the history of the Talmud from its origins in ancient Israel and Babylon to Internet-based texts, Dr. Abramson describes the excitement and thrill of studying Talmud from an insider's perspective.
Now specially priced at $2.99 ($4.99 for paperback) in honor of the Daf-Yomi participants completing the Talmud at the Siyum Ha-Shas on August 1.
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|Please Help Shalom Dovid and his Family |
Shalom Dovid is a wonderful eight-year old boy, the oldest of five, who loves learning Torah. The grandson of a local Miami family, he was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma and is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
You may help by including his name in your prayers:
Shalom Dovid's family have dedicated themselves to Jewish education in the Kansas City community through the local Kollel.
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There's an amazing article on Jewish Ideas Daily (my favorite aggregator of intelligent things) that is well-suited for this unusual time--erev Tisha B'av that falls on a Sabbath, which happens to coincide with the opening day of the Olympics, on the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
There's some controversy over the fact that the International Olympic Committee continues to block the observance of a minute of silence for the eleven slain participants in 1972, but 20,000 Londoners commemorated this sad event in a separate ceremony. The IOC might do well to be reminded of an earlier German Olympics.
Gretel Bergmann was a champion Jewish high jumper expected to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The Nazis did not want a Jew representing the country, but the threat of a boycott by the US team forced Hitler to allow her to continue training in preparation for the games. At the very last minute, when it was too late for the US team to pull out, she was cut from the team and replaced with the strangely private Dora Ratjen, who was not quite as accomplished a high jumper but whose Aryan background made her more suitable to Nazi racial policies. Bergmann was only allowed to watch the competition in the standing room area allowed for non-athletes.
Hitler's plans for a racially pure victory were stymied. Bergmann's "replacement" failed to win the gold medal--it went instead to Ibolya Csak, a Jewish athlete from Hungary. Bergmann herself emigrated to New York City in 1937, and three decades later she learned that Ratjen was stripped of all titles after it was discovered that she was actually male (he changed his name to Heinrich). Click here
for the amazing story by Kate Connoly.
What goes around comes around.
I hope you have a wonderful Shabbos, and a meaningful fast on Sunday.
Forthcoming for the High Holidays:
Reflect, Respond, Return
Moses Maimonides and The Ways of Repentance
A New Translation and Commentary
Henry (Hillel) Abramson holds a PhD in History from the University of Toronto, and has held post-doctoral and visiting appointments at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard, Cornell, and Oxford Universities. He is the author of three books and many scholarly articles on Jewish history and thought, including Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning (Feldheim, 2006) and A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 (Harvard, 1999). His research has been recognized by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and he received the "Excellence in the Academy" award from the National Education Association. He currently serves as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Touro College South in Miami Beach, Florida.