Jewish Journal

Accidental Talmudist: Day 438 - Be da Mensch!

By Salvador Litvak

March 29, 2012 | 3:15 pm

From the author's first film, When Do We Eat? Starring Michael Lerner, Max Greenfield, Lesley Ann Warren, Shiri Appleby, Mili Avital and Jack Klugman.

My friend, David Lewis, shared a teaching with me years ago, in the name of the great near-Yid, Bruce Springsteen:

A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to... read on

  • Accidental Talmudist: Day 1574 - Don’t Eye the Merchandise

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 23, 2012 | 10:48 am

    My son’s 7th birthday is coming up and he wants a punching bag so he can practice tae kwon do at home. I studied the art myself for years, so I know what he needs, and it’s not an inflatable, wobbling piece of dreck that ends up punctured in a week. He’s got a solid roundhouse.... read on

  • Accidental Talmudist: Day 2,558 - A Teacher Like Mrs. Schreiber

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 15, 2012 | 5:02 pm

    If I ask you to name a teacher who influenced you, does a name and a face come to mind?

    We were recently asked to recall such teachers by a young rabbi at Temple Beth Am. Conversations buzzed instantly. The gentleman sitting next to me had a professor who said, “You’ll never be... read on

  • Day 2543 - What is a Person Worth?

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 9, 2012 | 10:00 am

    We just finished Tractate Arachin, in which we studied the law of monetary vows made for the sake of the the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Because the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., we are no longer able to fulfill these laws, but we do study them, and they can be perplexing.

    All... read on
  • Day 715 - Murder at a Purim Feast

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 1, 2012 | 8:36 pm

    As Purim approaches, we encounter a Talmudic conundrum:

    Rava said: One must become so intoxicated on Purim that he cannot distinguish between “Cursed is Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai.” Rabbah and Rav Zeira celebrated the Purim feast together. They became intoxicated.... read on

  • Accidental Talmudist, Day One

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 1, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    This week marks the seventh anniversary of an errand that changed my life.

    On March 2, 2005, I went to The Mitzvah Store on Pico Boulevard in order to buy a book. I was in my seventh year of being a practicing Jew, and I had probably visited the shop a dozen times. After finding... read on