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Shabbat 115: Holy Letters

A new chapter: If holy writings are threatened by a fire, save them on Shabbat, no matter what language they’re written in. Also: A story to Rabban Gamliel about Rabban Gamliel, his grandfather, who hadn’t allowed the same policy re texts – and then the accuracy of that story is disputed. And: The essential value of scrolls in translation. Plus: the parameters of the texts that are holy enough or texts enough to count as worthy of breaking Shabbat to save. Also: what’s the shortest text worth saving? 85 characters or “Vayhi benso’a aron,” which is a smaller unit, and sufficient, but the exception to prove the rule. And: what about those 85 letters? Do they have to be consecutive? That’s a dispute between Rav Huna and Rav Hisda. An important aside: Owning scrolls in that era was a much bigger deal than our default of owning books.


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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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