Talmud Class with Rabbi Bolton
Wednesdays, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, June 5 and June 12 (final class).
No classes May 22 or 29 in order to allow attendance at other programming those evenings.
This year we are studying “Fasting, Praying, Planting, and Walking Through the Rain: Masekhet Ta’anit.” In four chapters (30 pages), the Talmud explores ancient ideas about individual prayers, fasts, and communal practices to influence Heaven. Material addressed includes: prayers for rain, our relationship to the natural world (that is, rain, seasons, and agriculture), our power as “pray-ers,” and the Kohanic blessings that were performed in ancient days. A discussion of public fast days allows for a presentation and review of Jewish history. The Rabbis begin the discussion asking which is more important: a focus on tragedies or a focus on moments of success and triumph? We will see some of the earliest material in the Talmud that deals with communal prayer, which, according to some scholarship, coalesced around public fast days that were declared for the purpose of beseeching God for communal needs.
No previous Talmud study, nor knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, is required.