Supported By

Supported by The Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, The Koret Foundation, the Estate of Mort Fleishhacker, and the students of Lehrhaus Judaica

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Welcome to a new year of community learning!

All students should obtain a print or digital copy of the Koren Talmud Bavli Berakhot with Commentary by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz).

If you have not yet signed up for "Taste of Talmud" or one of the Talmud Circles CLICK HERE


The Bay Area Community Talmud Circles will all begin anew with a review of the Mishna on page 293, chapter 7.

I am so happy to share with you that our faculty has returned for another year of learning with you: Prof. Deena Aronoff (Marin), Rabbi Dorothy Richman (Berkeley), myself (San Francisco and Palo Alto) and Rabbi Jennifer Clayman (Los Gatos).

Rabbi Clayman brings us this text from MEALS IN EARLY JUDAISM: SOCIAL FORMATION AT THE TABLE, S. Marks, H. Taussig, editors.


The recitation of birkat hamazon negotiates and renegotiates the central relationships of rabbinic Judaism: the relationship between teacher and student, scholarly companions, scholarly rivals, mourners, and the community rejoicing with the brides and bridegrooms that will reproduce this world.

Whether by the river, in a large hall, or at their own house, groups separate out, while reinstating these core relationships within the larger networks. These relationships simultaneously tie diners to the Hellenistic and Roman conventions of meals, enacting an identity consonant with the larger cultural moment and establishing their credibility as religious participants in the Roman world. Even as they reinforce ties within the rabbinic group that lead in and out of the dining room, they recreate themselves as players in the larger community. 




Friday, March 10, 2017

The Roland Version

Newest Reb Roland (March 30, 2017)

Everyone should be so blessed to have a Roland, an individual of boundless energy, who takes our San Francisco Talmud Circle notes and illuminates and expands our learning.  His latest offering is here, next to the pomegranates...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

From Bonni Schiff of the Marin Talmud Circle

This is a link to a Pardes podcast by Rabbi Rachael Berkovits.  Rachael is a wonderful teacher that Steve and I had the privilege of learning with at Pardes.  This particular podcast is about the 3rd Mishna of Berachot, which we (Talmud Circle) studied together.  She approaches the Mishna in a different way, and I really enjoyed hearing it.  
CLICK HERE

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Roland Commentaries

The circle of the Talmud page grows by it's commentaries.  The JCCSF Talmud Circle is expanded by our own commentator, Reb Roland.  To be enriched by the newest version of his prodigious efforts CLICK HERE

His previous excellent work can be found at CLICK HERE.

Any errors in his commentary are the responsibility of his presenter, and that would be me.

Shabbat Shalom,

Peretz Wolf-Prusan


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Got to know (and love) those basic terms

Pages 238-239 of Berakhot 35a contain many key terms and principles of the Talmud.  These terms are explained in this link CLICK HERE

On the bottom of 239 is Svara, reason.  

A fascinating and appropriately provacative essay by Rabbi Benay Lappe, the Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva Click Here

You can see her ELI talk here CLICK HERE


You can find our all time favorite Guide to Jewish Texts BY CLICKING HERE

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Talmud Circle Siyyum with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

The Annual Bay Area Community Talmud Circle Steinsaltz Shiur and Siyyum on June 5, 2016, at the Jewish Community Library was a fulfilling and stimulating success.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Talmud Circle students and our faculty, Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon, Professor Deena Aranoff and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan learned with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz in a question and answer conversation.  

The first part answered the question, “Kriyat Sh'ma and The Tefillah: How Can They Possibly Fit Together?” 

The second addressed the meaning of Jerusalem Day (June 5) and responses to questions posed by our students.

A guide to the responses was provided and a robust community discussion illuminated and expanded the learning.


You can find links to the videos and the guide here.

Shiur Guide

Kiryat Sh'ma and the Shemonah Esreh

Talmud Circle Students and Rabbi Steinsaltz Questions and Answers



We are grateful for the partnership with the Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the hospitality of the Jewish Community Library, and the support of the Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Fleishhacker Fund, and the students of Lehrhaus Judaica.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Notes from Roland Nikles

The SFJCC Talmud Circle is fortunate to have Roland Nikles's notes appear soon after the group meets  (we also have terrific snacks, but that is a different story).  In truth, the notes are more than notes, they are annotated and illustrated!  Here is the link to his Talmud Circle blog:

Talmud Circle 3: December 6, 2015.... (in which Peretz reconciles Hannah's "Sato" ruse)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Students, Steinsaltz, Simchas, and "Sivivon Sov Sov Sov" (the other dreidel song)

From Roland

Roland Nikles (an active blogger, writer and attorney) of the San Francisco Talmud Circle at the JCCSF has created a blog "Talmud Circle with Peretz Wolf-Prusan (Lehrhaus Judaica at JCCSF)".  He has annotated the first two sessions and illustrated and illuminated many points of interest. 

From the Global Day of Jewish Learning

Lehrhaus was a partner in “24×24,” a free video learning resource open to everyone, created by The Global Day of Jewish Learning (from the Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz) with the generous participation of world-class scholars, artists, rabbis and authors.  Viewers around the world tuned in to live broadcasts on November 14 and 15, 2015. Sessions were broadcast from both in-person events and web-based gatherings. Each speaker brought a unique perspective to this year’s Global Day theme of Love: Devotion, Desire and Deception. Viewers from everywhere joined us for live online discussions by questions of the speakers and fellow far-flung viewers.

Peretz presented “Desire: It’s Good For You! The Body, Sexuality and Fat Rabbis in the Talmud.” 

Here is the source sheet:

The Video:

From Ilana

Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon is sharing the supporting handouts from her Los Gatos Talmud Circle:


For Hanukkah


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Introduction to Mishnah and Talmud

Here is a recording of the October 14 Wednesday Night Webinar, "Introduction to Mishnah and Talmud.

"Click Here for Introduction to Mishnah and Talmud

Next Wednesday Night Webinar is December 2.  Sign up by writing peretz@lehrhaus.org

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Women and Prayer

Questions have arisen about women and prayer.  Judith Hauptman has written on issues of Talmudic Law and on women's issues in Rabbinic and modern Judaism. Her view is that the ancient rabbis gradually granted women more autonomy than in modernity.  In 1993 she wrote the article “Women and Prayer: An Attempt to Dispel Some Fallacies,” (JUDAISM, Winter 1993). In it she argued that Jewish women have always had an obligation to pray and for that reason can count in the minyan and even lead it in prayer.

Click here: Women and Prayer: An Attempt to Dispel Some Fallacies