The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey Between Worlds by Jonathan Rosen

eavans's review against another edition

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"I have always known that writing overtly about the horrors of the Holocaust is beyond my abilities and beyond my ambition and perhaps even beyond what I feel art can accomplish. For me the challenge, as a writer and perhaps even as a person, is how to do justice to the lives and experiences of both my grandmothers; the woman who died at ninety-five surrounded by family members who loved her, and the woman murdered in the forest in Eastern Europe. But perhaps even that is saying too much. Perhaps it is only to do justice to my own experience as the grandchild of those two women. A grandchild of optimistic America and of tragic European experience."

A little book has never convinced me to convert as much as this one...

eliwray's review against another edition

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Through a series of essays, Rosen unpacks the layers of his own relationship to religious and personal ambiguity, to suffering and joy, and to seemingly disparate 'ancient' and 'modern' approaches to knowledge, finding nourishment in the struggle.

He uses what I would call narrative theology to examine the metaphors we use to define our understandings of home, exile, and knowledge. He finds that the structure of the internet mirrors deeper truths of the Talmud and of our own spiritual journeys: characteristics that I couldn't do justice here. Much like a good story, what is rich about these essays can't be boiled down or summarized; they must be experienced.

The author and I would no doubt use very different labels for much of what we consider most important to us in outlook and politics. But I found a certain kinship with him in his valuing of a multiplicity of truths, and in his ultimate trust in chaos as a path to disjointed harmony. The book spoke to me and to recent spiritual struggles of mine in nourishing and strengthening ways.

ericfheiman's review against another edition

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An interesting meditation on the relationship between the internet and the Talmud, filtered through the death of the author's grandmother. Very enlightening for those not familiar with the ins and outs of the Talmud beyond the occasional Yom Kippur service. It's a short book and that may be its biggest flaw—I really wanted it to go deeper in the end, despite the author's effective matter of fact tone.