Monday, January 21, 2008


We watched the film Talmud last night. Some of the footage was very interesting. A lot of old films of Jews in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. Various Chabad yeshivahs around the world. Devorah Zlochower teaching the 2005-2006 Scholars' Circle. A monk somewhere (Italy?) leafing through a Bomberg Talmud. Myself leafing through a Bomberg Talmud.

But the commentary was appalling. Bad jokes, quasi-insights based on total ignorance of Hebrew, vague historical perspective. And nothing about talmudic parodies. Speaking of which, I just saw that a scholar explained Kalonymus ben Kalonymus's famous Masekhet Purim as something he did to let off steam when he was taking a break from academic translation. Not because he was mischevous or sarcastic, or anything undignified like that.


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