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 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).
As we continue our study and discussion of the transendent objective of the blessings before and after the meal,
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.