Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud

Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud

by Joseph Skibell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477307342
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Series: Exploring Jewish Arts and Culture
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Possessing “a gifted, committed imagination” (New York Times), Joseph Skibell is the author of three novels, A Blessing on the Moon, The English Disease, and A Curable Romantic, and a collection of true stories, My Father’s Guitar & Other Imaginary Things. He has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and Story Magazine’s Short Short-Story Prize.

Table of Contents

  • A Note on the Title
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Novelist Reads the Talmud: An Introduction
  • Timeline of Relevant Events, According to Rabbinic Tradition
  • Memo One. Rabbi Yohanan and Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish
  • Chapter 1. Eros and Alchemy in the Waters of the Jordan
  • Memo Two. Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai
  • Chapter 2. Turning the Hearts of Fathers
  • Memo Three A, B, and C. Rabbi Elazar ben Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Pinhas ben Yair, and Rabbi Judah ben Gerim
  • Chapter 3. Towards the Hearts of Sons
  • Memo Four. Rabban Gamliel II of Yavneh, Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah, and Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus
  • Chapter 4. The Gate of a Broken Heart
  • Memo Five. Rabbi Akiva, Shimon ben Azzai, Shimon ben Zoma, and Elisha ben Avuyah
  • Chapter 5. Revelation, Retribution, Perdition, Ecstasy, and Bliss: An Epic Canvas
  • Endnotes
  • Glossary

What People are Saying About This

Jacob L. Wright

"In Six Memos, a master storyteller, who has authored extraordinary works of fiction, applies his storytelling skills to tales from the Talmud, unpacking them with rare sensitivity and artistry. We learn with Skibell to pay close attention to what is said and what is unsaid. Written with color and wit, this book is an exercise in the pleasures of reading."

Rabbi David Wolpe

"Creative, learned, and playful, Six Memos From the Last Millennium illuminates Talmudic tales and personalities with clarity and wisdom."

W. Mark Lanier

"In Six Memos from the Last Millennium, a master storyteller takes on stories of the masters, bringing to modern life the millennia-old stories of the Talmud. Skibell discerns in those stories motifs and strands of thought that join the apparently disjointed, propelling the mini-narratives into our modern mindset with clarity and depth. I finished Six Memos reading and thinking—maybe even living—more deliberately and intelligently."

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