“Pumbedita & Vilna in Silicon Valley” is the title of the opening session in a series of five public meetings at the National Library of Israel. The series aims to investigate the relevance of the Bavli in the 21st century. Baldly, the first session asks: “Is the Babylonian Talmud relevant to the secular-western society in which we live?” Continue reading
The latest Jewish Review of Books just arrived in my mailbox today. I have a review, co-written with Elli Fischer, of Joseph Cedar’s talmudic superdrama, Footnote. We deal with a number of things in the review, including the movie’s “texture” and its use of cinematic footnotes. We also consider some of the gender implications of the movie, especially vis a vis Israeli masculinity (though there was not enough space to deal with the near total absence of women from the film, and the implications of that). Speaking of “gender” as much as possible we tried to get beyond the academic gossip that engendered the film and which the film itself engenders. It is pretty much all anyone in Jerusalem discusses these days, aside from heavy philology. But fear not, the gossip is still there, if you look for it.
There are other interesting articles in the issue, including a timely one by Moshe Halbertal about law and forgiveness (and narrative) in the Talmud. The two names that lurk at every turn in his reading are “Robert” and “Cover”. But for some reason, they go unmentioned.