Bet Midrash: To Save a Life

Taught by Elaina Marshalek

Tuesdays, Feb. 14 – May 2 | 8-10 PM ET | 7-9 PM CT | 5-7 PM PT | 10 sessions | Off for Purim on March 7 and Pesach on April 11 | Chevruta Plus, On and Off the Daf
Text: Yoma 83a/85ab

Let the Talmud give you life! What happens when two core values in the Torah come into conflict? How do we know which one to choose? The concept of pikuach nefesh (the principle of saving a life at all costs) will take us on a wild ride to determine how and when our moral compass can overturn Torah. Together we’ll explore how the Rabbis throw a heap of creative innovations at the wall to see what sticks.

After we finish the sugya, we’ll go “off the daf” together to explore the many questions that still remain. We’ll survey a number of sources that suggest new answers and reveal how this text was an upgrade to what preceded it. This is a fundamental SVARA text we’ve explored in countless batei midrash: whether you’ve learned excerpts of this sugya with us before or it’s your first time meeting this dazzling text, this course is for you!

About “Chevruta Plus”: You’ll learn some of the texts we love the most: the ones that show us how the Rabbis upgrade the tradition they’ve been given and empower us to do the same! Together we’ll explore the tensions that arise when we pursue radical change (which is exactly what the Rabbis did). This course is for learners who are hoping to deepen their practice with a chevruta and have more time in shiur for unpacking the text into broader themes. This is designed for learners of all levels who have learned Talmud in the original at least once – you’ll be given the tools to be challenged at your own learning level in a rigorous and supportive environment, and you will meet with your chevruta for 1-1.5 hours in advance of each shiur.

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