The study of Jewish texts is, more often than not, a social activity. In particular, the Talmud is typically studied in groups of two or more, a method known as chavruta (“study partner”), in which the group works through the text together and discusses the underlying issues.
This class is modeled as a Talmud workshop with the students doing the reading and interpreting with support from the lecturer. Not all participants can read Hebrew but they are still welcome to take part, joining the class discussions and using English translations (such as Sefaria). The students who can read Hebrew take turns reading the original Talmud text.
About the teacher
Joseph Shain has studied at yeshiva in Jerusalem in his youth, and then at Bar Ilan University. His interests revolve around oral tradition in early rabbinical Judaism and how it transformed into written form. Joseph works with property law at the technical company Neonode Technologies AB.