During this time of lockdown and isolation, we should be looking for opportunities to improve our lives. Over my years as a rabbi, I’ve often noticed people printing out teachings from different rabbis every week about the Parsha. People who may not have grown up with a Yeshiva education spend years reading these Parsha sheets every Shabbat. While this is to be commended, it is unfortunate that people who have the ability to engage directly with one of our sacred Torah texts, such as the Talmud, the Zohar, Maimonides’s Mishnah Torah, or any of the other great works of our rabbis, often do not take the proper time to do so.

Today, due to the popularity of the Steinsaltz and Artscroll Talmuds and the Danny Matt Zohar (Pritzker edition), our sacred books have become much more accessible. But even with all the translations and commentaries available, it is still a daunting task to open the Talmud and try to make heads or tails of it. Part of the reason why I have decided to begin my series on the Top Ten Teachings of the Talmud, and asked Melissa to help with putting these lectures in writing, is to help people break into Talmud study. By breaking the Talmud into bite-size pieces, I wish to show you how relevant and accessible it is, and how integrated it is with other Jewish teachings. It is my sincere hope that, whatever your background, there will be something in these Top Ten Teachings for you. I ask you to consider this a key, which can help you open the door and discover the vast world there is to explore, and I hope that you will either watch or read the Top Ten Teachings of the Talmud and let go of your fear of entering into that world.

Brachot is especially relevant in our current situation, because it is about prayer, blessings, and spiritual service of G-d, and it speaks directly to the time that we are living in. It is also a link between the Bible and the post-Temple period, which helps us understand how to take Biblical imperatives and translate them through the Rabbinic lens into our world.

Please don’t hesitate to give feedback or ask questions along your journey into the world of Talmud.

Rabbi Naftali Citron

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 2A (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 2B (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 3A (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 3B Part 1 (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 3B Part 2

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 4 (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 5 (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 6 (Click here for text)

Top Ten Teachings Talmud Brachos Daf 7 (Click here for text)

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