Mon, Nov 08

|

Online via Zoom

YESHIVA DAYS: LEARNING ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE

Author event with Jonathan Boyarin sponsored by the CCJCC, Cong. B'nai Shalom and the Jewish Book Council.

Registration is Closed
See other events
YESHIVA DAYS: LEARNING ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE

Time & Location

Nov 08, 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PST

Online via Zoom

About the Event

By a quirk of fate, Yeshi­va Days was pub­lished on Octo­ber 6, 2020, exact­ly one month before Rab­bi Dovid Fein­stein — its major sub­ject — died. Fein­stein was the rosh yeshi­va at Mesivtha Tifer­eth Jerusalem Yeshi­va on East Broad­way on New York City’s Low­er East Side, the last remain­ing insti­tu­tion for tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish learn­ing in this icon­ic Jew­ish neigh­bor­hood. Jonathan Boyarin, an anthro­pol­o­gist, lived near MTJ and stud­ied Tal­mud there off and on for sev­er­al decades when he was not teach­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na and Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty. In an ear­li­er work, Morn­ings at the Stan­ton Street Shul: A Low­er East Side Sum­mer (2011), he exam­ined the work­ings of this his­toric Ortho­dox syn­a­gogue where he attend­ed services.

Rab­bi Dovid Fein­stein was the son of Moshe Fein­stein — the lead­ing halachic author­i­ty in Amer­i­ca from the time he came from the Sovi­et Union to the Unit­ed States in 1937, until his death in 1986. The younger Fein­stein then assumed the reins of MTJ and became a major fig­ure in his own right in the Lit­vak yeshi­va com­mu­ni­ty in the Unit­ed States. He was high­ly regard­ed for his learn­ing, humil­i­ty, schol­ar­ship, and tol­er­ance for new and dis­sent­ing opin­ions — as had been his father — and his week­ly lec­tures attract­ed peo­ple through­out the New York City area. It was typ­i­cal of Fein­stein that, despite Boyarin’s fears, he did not oppose pub­lish­ing this account of the yeshi­va by an aca­d­e­mi­cian, or fear the intru­sion of mod­ern sec­u­lar Jew­ish schol­ar­ship into the world of the yeshiva.

Fein­stein would undoubt­ed­ly have been pleased by Boyarin’s affec­tion­ate and spright­ly remem­brances of his inter­ac­tions with his teach­ers and fel­low stu­dents, his grow­ing pro­fi­cien­cy in com­pre­hend­ing the com­plex­i­ties of the Tal­mud, the long hours he spent alone in study when away from New York City, and his wish to spend even more time immersed in study­ing the Tal­mud and its major com­men­taries. Boyarin was not born into the world of the yeshi­va. Pri­or to becom­ing a pro­lif­ic schol­ar of Jew­ish cul­ture and a stu­dent of the Tal­mud, he earned a law degree from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty and worked in a high-pow­ered law firm. Per­haps this legal train­ing was par­tial­ly respon­si­ble for his inter­est in Jew­ish legal codes. In any case, the legal profession’s loss was Jew­ish scholarship’s gain.

The book is free of social sci­ence jar­gon and is acces­si­ble to gen­er­al read­ers. What espe­cial­ly comes across is Boyarin’s love for the tra­di­tions of East Euro­pean Jew­ish life in gen­er­al, and the work of MTJ and Fein­stein in particular.[1] Of spe­cial inter­est is Boyarin’s dis­cus­sion of lesh­ma—study for its own sake, rather than for any ulte­ri­or pro­fes­sion­al or mon­e­tary pur­pose. Yeshi­va Days is ded­i­cat­ed to ​“the mem­o­ry of the Jews of Telz in Lithua­nia, mem­bers of the yeshi­va and towns­peo­ple” who per­ished in the Holo­caust. Telz was home to one of the major pre-World War II East Euro­pean yeshiv­as, and some of its stu­dents and teach­ers sur­vived the Holo­caust by flee­ing to Shang­hai. Emis­saries of Telz were in Amer­i­ca dur­ing World War II, and they estab­lished a yeshi­va mod­eled on Telz in Cleve­land in 1941. Branch­es would lat­er be estab­lished in Chica­go, New York City, and Lake­wood (New Jer­sey). Yeshi­va Days pro­vides answers to those curi­ous as to why indi­vid­u­als con­tin­ue to be attract­ed to the study of the Tal­mud, includ­ing those out­side of the Ortho­dox world.

Jonathan Boyarin is the Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Pro­fes­sor of Mod­ern Jew­ish Stud­ies at Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty. His books include Jew­ish Fam­i­lies, Morn­ings at the Stan­ton Street Shul: A Sum­mer on the Low­er East Side, and The Uncon­vert­ed Self: Jews, Indi­ans, and the Iden­ti­ty of Chris­t­ian Europe.

Admission is free. Upon registration, you will first receive a confirmation email. An hour before the program begins, we will email the Zoom link you need to join the event. If you don't see these emails, please check your spam/junk folder to retrieve them. We suggest you add "notifications@wixevents.com" to your contacts list as well.

Sponsors: CCJCC, Cong. B'nai Shalom and the Jewish Book Council.

Tickets

Price

Quantity

Total

  • Free

    $0

    $0

    0

    $0

Total

$0