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Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud

Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud


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Eighty years from now, in a time of increasing environmental degradation and after one sixth of the Earth's population has died in a vast pandemic, a noted rabbi in Brooklyn hosts a convocation for Jewish clergy and scholars from every background. Her vision—to create a new Talmud for living in such dangerous times. Over the course of five years the attendees work to compile a text in multiple genres—but their text is never completed.

Eighty years later, a single laptop is discovered that contains fragments of their text—and that is what this book contains. There are poems, stories, legal texts, and conversations, on belief, practice, liturgy, all designed for beleaguered people living in what seems to them the end of time. There are texts of hope, humor, despair, rage, and simple witnessing of the dying world around them (which may or may not be our world).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532663284
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Andrew Ramer is the author of Queering the Text: Biblical, Medieval, and Modern Jewish Stories; Torah Told Different: Stories for a Pan/Poly/Post-Denominational Era; and Deathless: The Complete, Uncensored, Heartbreaking, and Amazing Autobiography of Serach bat Asher, the Oldest Woman in the World. The world’s first ordained interfaith maggid (sacred storyteller), he lives in Oakland, California.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Andrew Ramer has taken us deep into our collective Jewish past, but with Fragments, he takes us into our future. He whimsically envisions a future world in which ancient Jewish texts continue to inform our choices, our laments, and our responsibilities. At times wistful, at times comical, Ramer takes us on a journey of what could be if we continue down our present global path. He calls us to task; he calls God to task as well.”

—Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco, co-editor of Struggling in Good Faith, LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives

“A courageous, brilliant, visionary work! In Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud, Andrew Ramer dares to imagine the future after climatological, environmental, and nuclear catastrophes render human life nearly unrecognizable. It is a heartbreaking vision that manages to offer hope in its portrait of Jewish resilience.”

—Rabbi Jacob Staub, Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

“In this creative, imaginative, original, and provocative work, Andrew Ramer once again challenges us to rethink our assumptions about Jewish life. Set in a futuristic moment seemingly unrelated to debates in contemporary Jewish life, Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud predicts the past as much as the future. It investigates traditional rabbinic authority by offering Ramer’s view of a new progressive halachah. Read forward in time, we learn how a future generation crafts its own Talmud. Read backward in time, we get to re-imagine the potential of a Babylonian or Palestinian Talmud interpreted with a more expansive, inclusive, and pluralist frame. Packed with scores of rhetorical nuggets that deepen meaning, Ramer gifts us a hopeful vision of the world’s future even as he describes an era marked by the most challenging day-to-day circumstance.”

—Marc Dollinger, Professor of Jewish Studies, San Francisco State University

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