Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud

Six Memos from the Last Millennium A Novelist Reads the Talmud A thief turned saint killed by an insult A rabbi burning down his world in order to save it A man who lost his sanity while trying to fathom the origin of the universe A beautiful woman battling her

  • Title: Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud
  • Author: Joseph Skibell
  • ISBN: 9781477307342
  • Page: 467
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A thief turned saint, killed by an insult A rabbi burning down his world in order to save it A man who lost his sanity while trying to fathom the origin of the universe A beautiful woman battling her brother s and her husband s egos to preserve their family Stories such as these enliven the pages of the Talmud, the great repository of ancient wisdom that is one of theA thief turned saint, killed by an insult A rabbi burning down his world in order to save it A man who lost his sanity while trying to fathom the origin of the universe A beautiful woman battling her brother s and her husband s egos to preserve their family Stories such as these enliven the pages of the Talmud, the great repository of ancient wisdom that is one of the sacred texts of the Jewish people Comprised of the Mishnah, the oral law of the Torah, and the Gemara, a multigenerational metacommentary on the Mishnah dating from between 3950 and 4235 190 and 475 CE , the Talmud presents a formidable challenge to understand without scholarly training and study But what if one approaches it as a collection of tales with surprising relevance for contemporary readers In Six Memos from the Last Millennium, critically acclaimed novelist Joseph Skibell reads some of the Talmud s tales with a storyteller s insight, concentrating on the lives of the legendary rabbis depicted in its pages to uncover the wisdom they can still impart to our modern age He unifies strands of stories that are scattered throughout the Talmud into coherent narratives or memos, which he then analyzes and interprets from his perspective as a novelist In Skibell s imaginative and personal readings, this sacred literature frequently defies our conventional notions of piety Sometimes wild, rude, and even bawdy, these memos from the last millennium pursue a livable transcendence, a way of fusing the mundane hours of earthly life with a cosmic sense of holiness and wonder.
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      Published :2018-05-12T18:47:20+00:00

    159 Comment

    • Michael Lewyn says:

      In five essays (why not six? Read the opening pages and find out), Skibell brings the rabbis of the Talmud to life, turning them from plaster saints to sages with very human weaknesses.For example, one essay addresses four rabbis who have a mystical vision, one of whom (ben Azzai) dies. What's wrong with ben Azzai? Skibell examines other references to him in the Talmud, including a reference to his refusal to procreate, and suggests that he is one of these pious but impractical people who is "to [...]

    • Anna says:

      Review forthcoming in Publishers Weekly. Novelist Skirbell offers up five essays, each a meditation on a particular story from the Talmud. Based on the introduction I was pretty excited about the idea of fanfic for the Talmud but this turned out to be more literary analysis and spiritual meditation than imaginative retelling of Talmudic parables. For those of us less familiar with the original corpus of texts upon which Skibell is reflecting, the essays wander to the point of confusion. But stud [...]

    • Chrislcg says:

      This one is not for the casual reader. I think it requires some work to understand the stories that the author links together from the Mishna and Gemara of the Talmud. Interesting, but a little esoteric for me.

    • Rachel says:

      See my review at thereportergroup/Artic

    • The Jewish Book Council says:

      Review by Avraham Bronstein for the Jewish Book Council.

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