Re: Why learn Gemara?
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Re: Why learn Gemara?

October 14, 2010 06:18AM
Hi Shalom,

Thanks for starting this conversation. I'll add my $0.02 below.

Why teach Gemara?
Aliza Libman Baronofsky

I opened the October 2010 issue of a math educational journal today and found an article extolling the benefits of teaching students about Pi using a diagram of a square inscribed inside a circle. But that's old news. Ancient news, in fact, considering that three weeks ago, I taught my advanced math middle schoolers that exact concept using the Gemara in Sukkot 8 (which approximates square roots with startling accuracy.)

As a Tanach and math teacher, I value Talmud selections as a way of viewing the thinking of past generations. I think it is the job of our schools to help students see the relevance of Talmud to various areas of their lives. The very fact that rejected opinions are recorded for future study teaches us a lot about how Judaism thinks about discussion and dissent. The variety of texts available mean that something interesting should exist for virtually all kinds of learners with all backgrounds. In many cases, we could certainly stand to improve the quality of our Talmud instruction - but a few mediocre practitioners should not discount the value of the entire practice.

I'll never be a Talmud teacher myself - I don't have the background, since I went to a high school that didn't teach girls Gemara. Though I've studied the Talmud since, I definitely feel on occasion that I am cut off from some significant portion of my heritage. Artscroll, while a critical resource for an intermediate Talmud learner like myself, can't replace truly excellent teaching. We're not subjecting our students to the Talmud - we're allowing them access to all the materials that are their birthright. If we don't teach Talmud, we risk creating a society where only an elite few can access the highest levels of divine inspiration and understanding. Whatever happened to "Lo Bashamayim Hee?"

Aliza Libman Baronofsky
Maimonides School
Brookline, MA
Subject Author Posted

Why learn Gemara?

Shalom Z. Berger October 05, 2010 07:47AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Sarah Lefton October 06, 2010 07:07AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Moshe Yeres October 06, 2010 07:11AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Jeff Holman October 06, 2010 07:14AM

Why Teach Gemara? Ask your students

David Gleicher October 07, 2010 08:15AM

Re: Why Teach Gemara? Ask your students

Shira Hecht-Koller October 14, 2010 06:16AM

Re: Why Teach Gemara? Ask your students

Abe Katz October 14, 2010 06:50AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Anne Gordon October 06, 2010 08:01AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Maccabee Avishur October 07, 2010 05:53AM

Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Michael Poppers October 07, 2010 08:17AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Ari Kinsberg October 31, 2010 01:08PM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Meir Fachler November 03, 2010 08:46AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Ari Kinsberg November 03, 2010 12:47PM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Aharon Frazer November 11, 2010 02:05AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Yisroel Kaminetsky November 15, 2010 12:36AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Aaron Frazer November 18, 2010 11:41PM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Aaron Ross November 30, 2010 12:55AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Avraham Norin November 30, 2010 04:48AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Eli Handel November 15, 2010 12:27AM

Teaching Gemora in Elementary School

Gary Levine November 15, 2010 12:40AM

Re: Teaching Gemora in Elementary School

Stuart Schnee November 19, 2010 03:48AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Russell Jay Hendel November 22, 2010 12:33AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Yosef Goldberg December 07, 2010 04:06AM

Re: Why begin teaching Gemara in elementary-school grades?

Russell Jay Hendel December 14, 2010 01:02PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Alex Schindler October 07, 2010 08:17AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Simon Goulden October 14, 2010 05:46AM

Re: Why teach Gemara?

Jon Levisohn October 09, 2010 11:02PM

Teaching Gemara

Aaron Ross October 09, 2010 11:09PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

David Brofsky October 09, 2010 11:13PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Norman Meskin October 11, 2010 08:55PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Yisroel Kaminetsky October 14, 2010 04:58AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Kalman Neuman October 14, 2010 06:07AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Yeshai Koenigsberg October 20, 2010 01:46PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Aliza Libman Baronofsky October 14, 2010 06:18AM

Why teach Gemara?

Aryeh Klapper October 17, 2010 03:40AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Debbie Lifschitz October 17, 2010 03:44AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Jon A. Levisohn October 17, 2010 03:51AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Ken Leitner October 17, 2010 04:38PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Daniel Rosen October 18, 2010 03:39AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Leah Perl Shollar October 18, 2010 03:41AM

Why is Gemara study only for the Orthodox?

Cecilia Rozen October 18, 2010 04:03AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Yosef Goldberg October 18, 2010 04:06AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Rafi Eis October 20, 2010 02:56PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Barry Kislowicz October 20, 2010 02:57PM

Understanding the Talmud: Beyond Halacha LeMaaseh

Warren Cinamon October 20, 2010 02:58PM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Elisha Paul October 24, 2010 03:36AM

Rav Lichtenstein on "Why learn Gemara?"

Alan J. Wecker October 24, 2010 06:56AM

Re: Why learn Gemara?

Ari Kinsberg November 23, 2010 06:37AM



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