Jewish Culture, Israeli Culture

Much of this blog was about political matters. There were two notable threads that I enjoyed writing though they had little to do with politics. The first was the Daf Yomi thread, daf yomi being the program in which one studies a page of the Talmud every day for about seven and a half years, which is how long it takes to cover the whole Talmud. I started before blogging, and intend to continue after; during the four years of blogging I reported on more than 70 interesting things I came across. The whole thing is explained and introduced here. To read the series, click on the Daf Yomi label (in the column on the left).

You cannot understand Judaism if you don't spend some serious time studying the Talmud. The Bible is the fundamental document of Judaism, but the Talmud is the backbone. If you don't make the effort, there's no possible way to understand what Judaism is about. This may be one reason why the number of daily students of Daf Yomi is probably in the hundreds of thousands, people of all walks of life.

In the Spring of 2010 I spent a few weeks focusing on Shirim Ivri'im, Israeli songs. Israeli culture, compered to Jewish culture, is a brand new sapling next to an ancient oak. Yet for all its short history, its got depth, and profound moments and traits. The music Israelis create for themselves is one of the most important - and unnoticed - components. So on March 31st 2010 I set out to give a very brief introduction to the subject, including recordings, lyrics, translations, and some commentary. The series went on for more than a month, and can be followed by using the Shirim Ivri'im label.