Dr. David Stern of Harvard University will discuss what he’s learned about the Talmud — a carefully curated collection of thousands of years’ worth of rabbinic commentaries on Jewish law and the Jewish Bible — and its shifting form over time, based on research related to his recently published book, “The Jewish Bible: A Material History,” part of the University of Washington Press’s Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies series.
The layout of the Talmudic page, with its text in the center surrounded by a sea of commentaries, is the iconic page format of the Jewish book. Where does this page layout come from, and what is its history? What impact has it had on the reception of the Talmud, and the way the Talmud has been studied over the centuries?
In this special online presentation, Stern will reflect on what he’s learned about the Talmud and its physical form in the years since his original Stroum Lecture in Jewish Studies in 1997 — and will discuss how the physicality and formatting of books can profoundly impact the way we read and interpret them.
RSVP and get Zoom link at https://jewishstudies.washington.edu/event/david-stern-history-talmud-as-physical-book/