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Literature at Lunch

Saturday, May 18, 2019 13 Iyyar 5779

12:00 PM - 2:00 PMKHL Room
Join Gail Lipsitz on Saturday May 18 at noon for our last Literature and Lunch for this year. Our discussion will be of Ilana Kurshan's memoir, "If All the Seas Were Ink" (St. Martin's Press, 2017). Alone in Jerusalem after a painful divorce, 27-year-old Ilana discovers "the world's largest book club," daf yomi (Hebrew for "daily page"), through which people around the world are all learning the same page of Talmud each day. The practice was inaugurated in 1923 by Rabbi Yehuda Mayer Shapiro of Poland and created an international community. The Talmud contains rabbinic teachings spanning about 500 years and is the basis for Jewish law (halacha). Ilana is drawn in by the wisdom, arguments, stories, and very human characters in the Talmud. Her studies give structure and meaning to her days, and she feels rescued by what she calls her "life raft."
In her memoir, she shares selected passages from the Talmud that offer insights into what is happening in her life at particular times. During the seven and a half years that it takes to read the entire Talmud through daf yomi, Ilana falls in love again, marries, and gives birth to children.
An engaging writer, Ilana Kurshan "takes us on a deeply accessible and personal guided tour of the Talmud" that will delight those who have little or no knowledge of Talmud as well as those who have studied it. Try reading a chapter a day, and you will finish the book with time to spare before May 18. Copies are available in the Baltimore County Public Library system. There are so many gems here that you may even want to buy the book.
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Sun, August 25 2019 24 Av 5779