Reading the Talmud in…

The South Korean ambassador to Israel visiting a yeshiva in Bnei Brak, earlier this month (picture from ynet, courtesy of the municipality of Bnei Brak)

The South Korean interest in Talmud has been a real hot-topic over the past few months. This piece outlines the phenomena, but as a simple Google search will show, there are many, many more articles on the subject (see also Menachem Mendel’s coverage).

But what does Talmud Study in South Korea actually look like? Perhaps a recent op-ed by Mario Blejer in the Korean JoongAng Daily, one of South Korea’s three daily English-language newspapers, may help answer that question. Commenting on the current debt crisis in Greece, the former governor of the central bank of Argentina and former director of the Bank of England seeks to find a solution in “the Talmud, the ancient repository of Jewish legal commentary – and one of the oldest sources of human thought on morality and economic activity”.  He then goes on to summarize the sugya of “kofin oto ad she-yomar rotze ani” as it appears in Bavli Kiddushin (50a) in order to “show that there are mechanisms that can – and should – be used to place pressure on the parties in the interest of obtaining superior voluntary outcomes.”

The article’s title, “The Talmud and Greek Debt”, is quite reminiscent, interestingly enough, of studies penned by Saul Lieberman.

About these ads

2 responses to “Reading the Talmud in…

  1. I was going to mention this sooner, but I figured I was already too much of a party-pooper. The anticipated renaissance is about as likely to occur in secular Israel as in South Korea.

    The most you could hope from the Israeli Renaissance would be increased funding for academic talmud study. But if just a tenth of a percent of the hareidi landanim could be turned to the dark side that would spark the Renaissance and the Revolution all in one.

  2. Pingback: A Talmud Lecture in the Knesset | The Talmud Blog·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s