September 1st, 2022 we kick off a new series at Ratzon’s Beit Midrash, in which we will learn to study Talmud in two different styles. This series will help us use the Steinsaltz set of Talmud that lives in Ratzon’s library. Whether you’ve never studied Talmud before or have been studying for years, you are welcome to join us! For the first 6 weeks of this program, Olivia Tucker will teach us to study Talmud in the SVARA style (learn more about SVARA here). For our last 2 weeks, Eric Lidji will teach us to learn Talmud in traditional Yeshiva style. Both facilitators are excellent teachers, and it will be a delight to learn from and with them.
If you want to attend just a few sessions, you can attend either of Olivia's first two sessions, on September 1 or 8, or either of Eric's sessions, on October 13 or 20. If you want to attend Olivia's sessions September 15-October 6, you will need to attend all (or as many as possible) of their sessions. For the sessions September 22-October 6, you will also need to know the Hebrew alef-bet; we will study in chevruta (study partnerships) for those sessions.
Schedule Thursdays at 6:30-8PM ET @ Ratzon: Center for Healing & Resistance
Part 1: SVARA Style (lead by Olivia Tucker)
September 1: What is Talmud?
September 8: Exploring Talmud by "Dozing Off"
September 15: How to Learn Talmud SVARA-Style
September 22: SVARA-Style Bet Midrash on a Staggeringly Gay Text!
September 29: SVARA-Style Bet Midrash on a Staggeringly Gay Text!
October 6: SVARA-Style Bet Midrash on a Staggeringly Gay Text!
Part 2: Traditional Yeshiva Style (lead by Eric Lidji)
October 13: Megillah 2: cities and villages, the quirks of the Jewish calendar, the authority of the Great Assembly, memories of Jewish rule, walls, final letters.
October 20: Megillah 3: the politics of translation, earthquakes, the end of prophecy, how to sidestep demons, study vs. sacrifice, walls again, the Ten Idlers.
On Thursday evenings in September, from 5:30-6:30pm (the hour before Beit Midrash starts), Ratzon’s library will be open for browsing, and we will have an informal study hall for folks who want to learn the Hebrew alef-bet. If you want to participate in the SVARA style study sessions on September 22, 29, and October 6th, you will need to know the alef-bet, so you can study it on your own, and/or join us during these sessions to get some tutoring or peer support. Olivia has also provided these resources for studying the alef-bet on your own:
These sessions will be held in person at the Ratzon space (KN95 or N95 masks required; full COVID policy here), with a hybrid option available. Please note on the registration forms if you will be attending online so we can send you the Zoom link and scanned class materials. For those registered to attend in-person, we will email the address before the first class.
This series is free to attend! At the same time, Olivia teaches Talmud professionally, so if you want to make a donation to help pay one of our peers for their work, we welcome you to make an earmarked donation to Ratzon -- there is a field for you to leave a note on the last page; you can write that the donation is for the Talmud program.
For the sessions September 22-October 6, we will study in chevruta, which are study partnerships. If you have a chevruta who you will be attending with, you can denote that on Olivia’s registration form. If you do not have one, the form asks you questions to help pair you with someone.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We look forward to digging into some nerdy Jewish fun with you all!
Ratzon is based on the land of Monongahela, Osage, and Shawnee people, currently called Pittsburgh, PA. Find out whose land you're inhabiting at native-land.ca