Ruth Calderon’s Knesset speech has created more buzz around the Jewish world than any speech like it in the history of the State of Israel. Probably because nothing remotely like it has ever happened before. The unexpected, unprecedented, yet incredibly moving sight of a non-Orthodox woman passionately teaching Gemara in the Knesset has captured the attention of Jews everywhere. Most of the reaction has been extremely enthusiastic. I think it might turn out to be one of the most pivotal moments in the last 300 years of Jewish history.
Serious study of the Talmud requires a high level of devotion and consistency. Finishing all 63 volumes of rabbinical discourse in one’s lifetime is an admirable feat. Completing the whole series in a little more than seven years is almost unfathomable.
The question of whether Talmud is indeed part of Jewish learning for girls and women in traditional Orthodox education has come under debate in the last two decades in Orthodox circles.