The Tal­mud of Rela­tion­ships, Vol­ume 1 & 2

Rab­bi Amy Scheinerman

December 18, 2018

Vol­ume 1: How can I tame my ego? How might I con­trol my anger? How might I expe­ri­ence the spir­i­tu­al­i­ty of sex­u­al inti­ma­cy? How can I bestow appro­pri­ate hon­or on a dif­fi­cult par­ent? How might I accept my own suf­fer­ing and the suf­fer­ing of those whom I love?

Vol­ume 2: How can I lead oth­ers with author­i­ty and kind­ness? How can I strength­en my self-con­trol? How can I bal­ance work and fam­i­ly? How can I get along with dif­fi­cult cowork­ers? How can I best relate to peo­ple in need?

Enter the Tal­mu­dic study house with inno­v­a­tive teacher Rab­bi Amy Schein­er­man and con­tin­ue the Jew­ish val­ues – based con­ver­sa­tions that began two thou­sand years ago. The Tal­mud of Rela­tion­ships, Vol­ume 1 shows how the ancient Jew­ish texts of Tal­mud can facil­i­tate mod­ern rela­tion­ship-build­ing — with par­ents, chil­dren, spous­es, fam­i­ly mem­bers, friends, and ourselves.

Schein­er­man devotes each chap­ter to a dif­fer­ent Tal­mud text explor­ing rela­tion­ships — and many of the selec­tions are fresh, large­ly unknown pas­sages. Over­com­ing the road­blocks of lan­guage and style that can keep even the curi­ous from div­ing into Tal­mud, she walks read­ers through the log­ic of each pas­sage, offer­ing full tex­tu­al trans­la­tions and expand­ing on these rich­ly com­plex con­ver­sa­tions so that each of us can weigh mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives and draw our own con­clu­sions. Schein­er­man pro­vides ground­ing in why the select­ed pas­sage mat­ters, its his­tor­i­cal back­ground, a grip­ping nar­ra­tive of the rab­bis’ evolv­ing com­men­tary, insight­ful anec­dotes and ques­tions for thought and dis­cus­sion, and a cogent synopsis.

Through this first­hand encounter with the core text of Judaism, read­ers of all lev­els — Jews and non-Jews, new­com­ers and vet­er­ans, stu­dents and teach­ers, indi­vid­u­als and chevru­ta part­ners and fam­i­lies alike — will dis­cov­er the trea­sure of the oral Torah.

Discussion Questions

Rab­bi Amy Schein­er­man brings to life the dia­logues of the Tal­mud and weaves them into crit­i­cal mod­ern con­ver­sa­tions and nar­ra­tives around rela­tion­ships and iden­ti­ties, both posit­ing and demon­strat­ing the ways in which this two-thou­sand-year-old text con­tains rel­e­vant insights for today. The work offers Jew­ish edu­ca­tors ped­a­gog­ic insight on how to teach com­plex rab­binic text in a mod­ern envi­ron­ment, bring­ing a wide array of dif­fer­ent Tal­mu­dic texts into these lessons. In addi­tion to expli­cat­ing the orig­i­nal text, Rab­bi Schein­er­man offers his­tor­i­cal, lit­er­ary and reli­gious insights into the nature of this text and its evo­lu­tion for Jew­ish learn­ing. These two vol­umes pro­vide both a new avenue for novice learn­ers of Jew­ish text and an impor­tant com­pendi­um of a mod­ern under­stand­ing of rela­tion­ships for the sea­soned stu­dent of Tal­mud. Stu­dents of gen­der, sex­u­al­i­ty, and fam­i­ly sys­tems will find that this work offers oppor­tu­ni­ties for thought­ful engage­ment with the orig­i­nal text, and, with sen­si­tive hermeneu­tics, pro­vides insight­ful discourse.