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Talmud for the 99%: Class Info Page

Introductory Class: Hebrew Roots and Dictionary Skills Crash Course

Thursday, March 25, 7-8pm


Sundays, April 11, 18 and 25, May 2, 4:30-6:30pm

Join Earnest for a four session Talmud class between Passover and Shavuot. In this class we will prepare for Shavuat, which commemorates the Jewish people entering into a covenantal relationship with God, by decoding a wild Talmudic story that completely reimagines the covenantal moment. We will explore the rabbis' motivation for their subversive reimagining, and their vision for a more liberatory relationship with the divine. 

We will be providing materials for this class. Please SIGN UP by April 1st so we can prepare your Talmud learning goodies! After signing up you will receive an email with a survey to help me make chevruta pairs. 

Sign up by April 1st for Talmud for the 99% at this link! 

Read through for important information!

Supplies Pick Up

Each learner will receive a masechet (a book fo Talmud) and a resource folder. These Talmud learning packs will be available to pick up at CDT, 2nd Church, along with the loaner dictionaries.

April 4th, 1-2pm Supplies Pick up @ CDT

April 8th, 9-5pm Supplies Pick Up @ CDT

If you can not come to CDT to pick your learning pack, please fill out the survey you will receive via email after registering. We will mail learning packs to those who can not come to pick up. 

Talmud for the 99%: Class Schedule Breakdown 

Chevruta Learning (study in pairs): 

Each class begins with chevruta learning (in class, you don't need to prepare outside of class time): sitting with your chevruta (study partner), your text, and your dictionaries (read on for info about materials) and working to prepare the text. 

We will not use any translations, your text is in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, no matter your learning experience. Learning in the original language slows us down and gives us the opportunity to create our own meaning of the text. The process of looking up words demands our attentiona nd presence, asking us to use "beginner's mind," dropping our expectations of what we think we know and opening up to multiple possibilities. 

Shiur (whole group lesson)

After everyone has spent time deciphering the day's text, we will come together as a group to unpack what we've learned and discuss it -- that is called shiur. Together we will translate and discuss the text, and share our questions and insights. 

Chazara (review)

After shiur, you'll return to chevruta for chazara (review) of that session's text to the point of deep understand, ownership, and memorization (it isn't as scary as it sounds!!). 

Everyone will be celebrated for what they own and memorize, whether it is 2 or 10 words. Memorizaiton helps us check our understanding of the text and experience owndership of the tradition. Finally there is a chance to recite, everyone who recites gets clapped up, now matter how much they were able to do!


We will use two dictionaries: Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud, and Midrashic Literature and Yitzhak Frank's Practical Talmud Dictionary. 

We have 13 loaner copies of each that will be available for pick.

Online version: There is an online version of the Jastrow dictionary. Jastrow is the primary dictionary and will be sufficient for this course if you can't get a Frank dictionary.

Purchase: You can purchase Jastrow and Frank directly from their publishers. These books are pricey. I hope we can provide loaner copies to most who attend. 

Magnifying Glass

The print in the masechet (book of Talmud) is small. Everyone will receive a blown up copy of our text on cardstock. To aid reading the original text, you may want to purchase a magnifying glass. 

Magnabrite is a high quality magnifying glass. You can find less expensive ones as well. 

Thu, June 17 2021 7 Tammuz 5781