JTS scholar speaks at Kol Rinah, B’nai Amoona

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) has partnered with Kol Rinah and Congregation B’nai Amoona to offer “JTS Learning in your Community: Law Meets Life,” a series of presentations by Judith Hauptman, professor emerita of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture at JTS, from Nov. 3-5.

The events begin Friday, Nov. 3, when Hauptman discusses  “Law and Narrative in the Talmud” at Kol Rinah (services begin at 6 p.m. and Shabbat dinner at 7). The Talmud often follows a statement of the law with an anecdote describing how one particular rabbi carried it out Many commentators suggest that the anecdote indicates how pious and law-abiding that rabbi is. Through a close reading of the text, Hauptman will discuss how the anecdote, when carefully analyzed, shows how the rabbi modified the law to adapt it to real life circumstances. 

On Saturday, Nov. 4 at Kol Rinah, Hauptman discusses “Women’s Voices in the Talmud” during Shabbat morning services and again after kiddush. In general, only men issue halakhic statements in the Talmud. However, women appear often in anecdotes about how the law was carried out. Hauptman will examine how some short anecdotes reveal that women took the law into their own hands and made changes in it for personal reasons.

 At 10:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5 (following Shaharit service) at B’nai Amoona, Hauptman will speak on, “How One Rabbi’s Criticism of Another Leads to Halakhic Innovation.”

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Many anecdotes in the Talmud  involve one rabbi criticizing the halakhic behavior of another. The rabbi who is criticized then defends himself and in the process modifies the law, usually adapting it to meet his own needs or that of his community. Hauptman will look at some of these passages to explore the implications they have for Jewish life today. 

Kol Rinah is located at 829 N Hanley Road in University City. B’nai Amoona is located at 324 S Mason Road in Creve Coeur.

Advance reservations for the Friday night dinner are required.  To RSVP, visit KolRinahStl.org or contact Nancy Greene at [email protected] or 314-727-1747.

For more information about the event at B’nai Amoona,  contact Amy Maupin at [email protected] or 314- 576-9990 x131.

This program is sponsored in part by the Hereld Institute for Jewish Studies of JTS and the Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Foundation for Conservative Judaism.