Thursday, 28 March 2013

Eiruvin 20a, b

Today's daf was a more tedious read for me.  It is really tough to get my head around the arguments without more understanding, more guidance.  And I don't have the time at this point to devote to learning more.  Frustrating.

Some points of mild interest:

Based on the discussions in this daf, people built eiruvim together.  Families shared courtyards.  This makes me imagine life in ancient times, where community mattered in even more poignant ways than it does today.   Why did families choose to share courtyards?  Was it a purely financially motivated decision, or did it have to do with other practicalities?  And how did they cope with the conflicts that would arise when sharing space in this way?

The rabbis debate about rules regarding a body - people or animals - that are partially in the public domain and partially in the private domain.  In this discussion we are introduced to the force feeding of camels and other animals.  Without more comprehensive knowledge, I am left to wonder about when and why animals were force-fed.  I cannot imagine that this would be pleasant for the animal or for the people involved.  But I'm a city-person of the 21st century, lacking in much historical and talmudic knowledge, and my guesses probably don't even touch the truth.

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