Come and Hear: What I saw in my seven-and-a-half-year journey through the Talmud
Adam KirschE-book: $22.95
Kirsch gives a tantalizing taste of what reading and seriously grappling with the Talmud is like. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Once again the brilliant and indefatigable Adam Kirsch, one of America's best literary critics, has done the world a great public service. Come and Hear invites us into the world of the Talmud, one of literary history's most daunting and least accessible texts. Kirsch doesn't merely explain or introduce readers to this world; he shows us why it's a world worth exploring, for anyone who cares about how human beings think. Welcome.
—Dara Horn, author of People Love Dead Jews
It’s no small feat that Adam Kirsch manages to make a labyrinthine text accessible, an ancient conversation eminently alive. Come and Hear is a rare and invaluable doorway into the long-standing house many of us have felt hesitant to enter: the Talmud. Kirsch makes the rabbinic sages feel like recognizable relatives, and the parsing of legal minutiae feel like thrilling detective work. His writing is crisp and clear, even his chapter headings are inviting. Just as the author confides that ‘doing Daf Yomi was by far the most important Jewish experience of my adult life,’ reading Kirsch’s book may be one of yours.
—Abigail Pogrebin, author of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
Come and Hear is a clear and incisive introduction for new swimmers in the vast sea of Talmud and for veteran students of its pages who appreciate fresh insights into ancient debates and the rabbinic mindset behind them. Adam Kirsch has placed his own captivating voice into an enduring, quirky and arcane conversation and remarkable textual reclamation project that has brought ancient wisdom in contact with modern life.
—Dr. Erica Brown, Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, The George Washington University
Come and Hear entices readers to sample the fruits of Kirsch's 7 ½-year Talmud regime, which includes its quirkiest tidbits and the staples of rabbinic debate and wisdom. A joy to read--and a surefire enticement to savor the pleasures of Talmud for oneself.
—Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
This beautiful book aims to capture what the Talmud actually is. Come and Hear is helpful, clear, practical, and detailed---and always engaged in conveying the fundamental uniqueness of the Talmud, which Adam Kirsch movingly calls its own genre. This is a love song to the ‘freedom to learn without the obligation to agree,’ and a living example of the Talmud's central role in Jewish continuity----in Hebrew, Aramaic, and now, in a leading contemporary critic's hands, in English.
—Aviya Kushner, author of Wolf Lamb Bomb
Kirsch gives a tantalizing taste of what reading and seriously grappling with the Talmud is like.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
If you’re considering delving into the Talmud, you might want try “Come and Hear” first. It’s an excellent introduction.
—Washington Jewish Week
Kirsch wanted to fill the “Talmud-sized gap” in his Jewish understanding, and his readily digestible essays on the forty Talmudic tractates of the Daf Yomi cycle in Come and Hear efficiently offer this service to his readers.
Adam Kirsch is a poet and literary critic. He is the author of three collections of poems and several books of criticism and biography, including, most recently, The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature and The Blessing and the Curse: The Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century. He is an editor at the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Review section.