The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1


The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1

God, Self, and Family

Rabbi Amy Scheinerman

256 pages

Look inside the Book

October 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

October 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

October 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

How can I tame my ego? How might I control my anger? How might I experience the spirituality of sexual intimacy? How can I bestow appropriate honor on a difficult parent? How might I accept my own suffering and the suffering of those whom I love?

Enter the Talmudic study house with innovative teacher Rabbi Amy Scheinerman and continue the Jewish values–based conversations that began two thousand years ago. The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1 shows how the ancient Jewish texts of Talmud can facilitate modern relationship-building—with parents, children, spouses, family members, friends, and ourselves.

Scheinerman devotes each chapter to a different Talmud text exploring relationships—and many of the selections are fresh, largely unknown passages. Overcoming the roadblocks of language and style that can keep even the curious from diving into Talmud, she walks readers through the logic of each passage, offering full textual translations and expanding on these richly complex conversations, so that each of us can weigh multiple perspectives and draw our own conclusions. Scheinerman provides grounding in why the selected passage matters, its historical background, a gripping narrative of the rabbis’ evolving commentary, insightful anecdotes and questions for thought and discussion, and a cogent synopsis.

Through this firsthand encounter with the core text of Judaism, readers of all levels—Jews and non-Jews, newcomers and veterans, students and teachers, individuals and chevruta partners and families alike—will discover the treasure of the oral Torah.

Author Bio

Rabbi Amy Scheinerman is a teacher, writer, and hospice rabbi. She is a former trustee on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), former president of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis, and a current member of the CCAR Responsa Committee.


"Scheinerman seeks to teach value-based Judaism through a talmudic lense. . . . Readers do not need any previous experience with the talmudic text since Scheinerman does an excellent job explaining its history and meaning in clear, easy-to-read prose. Her work manages to combine religious and scholarly understanding of the text in ways that will appeal to those unfamiliar with the Talmud."—Rabbi Rachel Esserman, Reporter

"Through this firsthand encounter with the core text of Judaism, readers of all levels—Jews and non-Jews, newcomers and veterans, students and teachers, individuals and chevruta partners and families alike—will discover the treasure of the oral Torah."—Jewish Book Council

"Full of sober wisdom for solemn times, Scheinerman's mature advice and teachings will speak to modern spiritual seekers."—Sandra Collins, Library Journal

"In this two-volume set, Rabbi Amy Scheinerman provides a useful demonstration of how the [Talmud] text can be analyzed and used in contemporary society. . . . This is a worthy and thoughtful approach to Talmud study and its broader applications. Rabbi Scheinerman's questions are deep and the discussions offered are both incisive and complex. . . . Recommended for all libraries."—Fred Isaac, Association of Jewish Libraries News and Reviews

“Amy Scheinerman does it again. She takes the most obscure Talmudic texts and makes them come alive, right before your eyes. And the best part: the ‘Aha’ moment is not short-lived. Scheinerman’s insights will stick to your bones and add value and meaning to your life.”—Rabbi Stacy Offner, Temple Beth Tikvah, Madison, Connecticut

“A treasure trove of insight, information, and meaning that invites us into the world of the rabbis and the Talmudic tradition. Be prepared to experience the Talmud come alive as we learn to navigate engrossing texts and also reflect on our own relationships: who we are and who we aspire to be.”—Rabbi Norman Cohen, professor of Midrash at HUC-JIR and author of The Way into Torah

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Talmud?
Part 1. The Core: Relationships with God and Self
1. Finding Our Place: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Menachot 29b
2. Controlling Our Anger: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berakhot 7a
3. Understanding Our Suffering: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berakhot 5a–b
4. Approaching Prayer: Mishnah Berakhot 4:2 and the Accompanying Gemara from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds
Part 2. First Sphere: Family Relationships
5. Honoring Our Parents: Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Pe’ah 1a, 5b–6b
6. Affirming Our Sexuality: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Nedarim 20a–b
7. Balancing Family and Study: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ketubot 61b, 62b–63a
Appendix: Theodicy, the Problem of God’s Justice