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The Sea of Talmud: A Brief and Personal Introduction Paperback – June 27, 2012
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About the Author
Henry Abramson holds a PhD in History from the University of Toronto, and has held post-doctoral and visiting appointments at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard, Cornell, and Oxford Universities. He is the author of three books and many scholarly articles on Jewish history and thought, including Reading the Talmud: Developing Independence in Gemara Learning (Feldheim, 2006) and A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920 (Harvard, 1999). His research has been recognized by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and he received the “Excellence in the Academy” award from the National Education Association. He currently serves as a Dean of Touro's Lander College.
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I have one great reservation on the book, which I hope at some point I'll find some explanation for as I wade through his many lectures on the Internet: at an early point in the book he mentions an intellectual disagreement he had with one of his earliest Jewish teachers regarding using terrorism against Arabs. He describes an earlier position of his against such an approach as naive. Did he mean by that that he now supports terrorism against Arabs? I'd be very disappointed if that was the case. Other than this point there isn't anything else to kvetch about.
Overall, a great book; easy style, witty and funny at points, with some useful charts for novices. I hope at some point he makes a book of his many great lectures on Jewish history. Mazel tov.
Genre: Judaism, Talmud, Beginners, Inspiration
The Sea of Talmud: A Brief and Personal Introduction by Dr. Abramson is an inspirational and informative book on the Talmud. Dr. Abramson takes us through his personal journey to observant Judaism and his thirst for the Talmud while at the same time unveiling the obscure Jewish text. He explains the basics of the Talmud as a text from who wrote the Talmud and the page layout to what is written in it while describing the impact it has had on him personally in life. He writes, “Ultimately, the University and its books became my career, but Yeshiva and its Talmud became my life.” (51) The Talmud and its study transformed his life and his families. I highly recommend this short read to anyone interested in an inspirational introduction to the Talmud.
Genre: Inspiration, Informative, Quick-read.
Language: Only English and transliterated Hebrew.
Length: 60 pgs. Date
While the book is certainly helpful for anyone new to the Talmud, even those who are more familiar with it are sure to gain something.