Random Musings

As some of you are aware, I’m only starting to get over jetlag from a 16 hour long trek from Israel to LA. As such, I will not have the energy and focus to respond to my history post until next week (check out this article and replace “political knowledge” with “history” to get the jist of what I will say). However, since the need to write still burns within me, I will write little notes on various issues of interest.

  • Ben Chorin has been coming out with a very interesting series of posts on the interaction between Jewish thought and sociology. Personally, I think he should turn them into a more detailed and footnoted book. Then again, I’m still waiting for Evanston Jew to come out with his book, which I would certainly enjoy even if I don’t agree with it.
  • Lookjed has had a very long series of posts regarding gemara education in MO schools. Personally, I think many people need to separate the question: why learn gemara and how to learn gemara. The two are not the same.
  • Gemara is sacred and an important part of Jewish knowledge and discourse. Antiquated and inefficient methods of teaching it are not. If there are better ways of learning, then we should by all means use them.
  • Furthermore, we need to take into account that gemara is no longer just for the geniuses, but also the baalei batim. We should put effort into making gemara learning accessible to the normal folk and making it an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
  • I would recommend looking at methods such as this, as well as taking this advice into account when teaching children and teenagers in general.

That’s all for now. See you next week.



Hi, my name is Avi Woolf. I'm an American-Israeli MO Jew living in Israel. I have a background in Israeli (as in Land of Israel) and Jewish History and an insatiable need for knowledge. I also have professional experience as an editor, translator and indexer. Enjoy the ride! If you are interested in using my services or just want to drop me a line, contact me at: opdycke1861NOSPAM@yahoo.com
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1 Response to Random Musings

  1. Zach says:

    I completely agree with you on the issue of teaching gemara. Yeshiva high schools also have a heard time distinguishing between the questions of why teach gemara and why teach gemara 10-15 hours a week for four years.

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