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Mendelson Shabbat Scholar Rabbi Dr. Noah Bickart

Saturday, January 26, 2019 • 20 Shevat 5779

1:00 PM - 3:00 PMBiran Beit Midrash

2018-2019 Mendelson Shabbat Scholar
Rabbi Dr. Noah Bickart
Saturday, January 26 @ 1:00pm

The Rabbis of the Talmud were confronted by a troubling paradox. On the one hand, much of the Biblical tradition, especially in the Prophetic and Wisdom books, presents a clear moral calculus: behave righteously and do justice and you will be rewarded. And yet, when the editors of the Talmud tell stories about themselves and their lives, they reveal that they know that the world doesn't always work this way. We will study a story from tractate ta'anit about Rabbi Eleazar ben Pedat, whose students visit him in his home and find him in a dream like trance. When he wakes up, he seems to have figured it all out, while making it ever more confusing. As a result, we'll have to look elsewhere in the Talmud to try to explain what the author(s) of this story might be trying to teach us.

Rabbi Noah Bickart is assistant professor of Jewish and Interreligious Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland. His first book, based on his PhD Dissertation at JTS, “The Scholastic Culture of the Babylonian Talmud,” will be published later this year.

*Babysitting available (free of charge) for this event.

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Wed, January 23 2019 17 Shevat 5779