A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales by Dr. Ruth Calderon, Ilana Kurshan

By Dr. Ruth Calderon, Ilana Kurshan

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Ruth Calderon has lately electrified the Jewish global together with her teachings of talmudic texts. during this quantity, her first to seem in English, she bargains a desirable window into a number of the liveliest and so much colourful tales within the Talmud. Calderon rewrites talmudic stories as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters because the lady who dangers her lifestyles for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a spouse who clothes as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband of their backyard. respiring new lifestyles into an historic textual content, A Bride for One Night deals a shocking and provocative learn, either for an individual already intimate with the Talmud or for someone attracted to the most influential works of Jewish literature.


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The most senior priest among them lifted a marble tablet affixed to a ring. With a silver ladle he brushed dust into a clay cup that was already filled with a half-measure of water from the Temple sink. He took a parchment scroll with the verses from the Torah about the curse of the adulteress written in ink upon it. Next he lowered the scroll into the glass of water until the letters dissolved. Then he mixed the dust and ink in the water. He brought the water to my lips, and I closed my eyes, feeling as calm and content as a baby nursing at its mother’s breast.

I did not know that the sweet melody of his learning was the rival with whom I would ultimately have to contend, that it was competing with me for my husband’s soul. When he asked my permission to be sent to one of the academies abroad, I consented. I didn’t know how difficult the distance would be. I didn’t realize how endless the nights would seem when I was alone, how deeply my longing would distress me. ” Would I have given my permission if he asked me again? When my husband returned each fall, I would overflow with love, with the knowledge of his weakness.

Mazel tov! Soon by you, Rabbi Yohanan! Reish Lakish recited the seven blessings that the sages had designated for wedding ceremonies. Rabbi Yohanan’s lips moved along with him. The sages, who stood in a circle around them, leaned in to hear the particular version he used. The marriage document was handed to the crying mother—it all passed like a dream. At night, when the guests had gone home, the galloping of horses could be heard in the distance. In the morning Reish Lakish found a bundle of expensive spices from Lebanon resting on his windowsill, left by a band of robbers that had come and gone under cover of darkness.

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