Daf Yomi is off and running!

It’s a bit of a late notice, but in case you didn’t hear, a new Daf Yomi cycle just began on January 5. This is, of course, a chance to read through the entire Babylonian Talmud in a 7 ½ year period, along with thousands of others worldwide. One page a day is all it takes! This can be a great way to to facilitate study with family and friends of one of Judaism’s seminal works.

Every day for 7 years…

Even if you’ve missed the first few days, you can still jump on board. Dafyomi.org is a good place to start. Or, if you prefer a straightforward Hebrew/English page with commentary, I recommend Real Clear Daf. If you would prefer to get started at the beginning of different tractate, have a look at the calendar on shas.org to decide where to jump in. There are numerous commentaries on the readings, so you’ll have to find which ones you like best. However, the Orthodox Union has a good place to start with their All Daf website.

Also, don’t forget that Sefaria has a great number of translated Jewish works you can check out at your convenience.

Good luck to everyone who elects to undertake this strenuous (yet rewarding) endeavor. If you’re picking it up this cycle, feel free to comment and let me know how it’s going!

Don’t be a Pharisee! Or maybe you should…

(Actually, you can’t be, because they’re extinct)

Ever been called a “pharisee”? Even know what one is (or was, as is the case)?

For the next few weeks we’ll be covering the history, society, and philosophy of the three major Jewish sects during the Second Temple Period: The Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes.

Not only did these classes reflect the spiritual and political climate of their time, but also served as cornerstones for the Abrahamic traditions of today. Tune in to KEOS (or check out the show’s YouTube channel) as we cover each one over the next three weeks… the answer as to who these men were may surprise you!

The Staffordshire Hoard and Biblical Headdresses

Archaeologists recently discovered a medieval treasure trove in England, which is being hailed as one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds in history. Found amongst the hoard was this bishop’s headdress. Believed to be from the 7th century, this piece is now the oldest episcopal head covering currently known:

Source: The Independent

While a little worse for wear, it is likely that this piece was made to resemble what the early European Christians believed were the headwear of the Jewish high priests, as evidenced by this 8th Century painting of Ezra:

Source: The Independent

It also bears some similarity to the headpieces of the pagan priests of ancient Rome; particularly those worn by the Flamines and Salii:

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

This does not, however, reflect our knowledge of the garments of the High Priest as we understand it from the Bible, which describes something of a distinctly Middle Eastern style:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-4.png
Source: thetorah.com

Perhaps ironically, this bishop’s headpiece does bear a striking resemblance to the Jewish headgear that would later become standard in 13th Century England:

Source: jewishencyclopedia.com

No doubt this will contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the influence of Judaism vs. Paganism in the development of the early European Church.

The full story can be found here.

In the Beginning…

Welcome to Set Apart!

Set Apart is a talk/music radio show covering issues related to religion and how we live as people of faith in the modern world, predominantly from a traditional Jewish perspective. It airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. CT on KEOS 89.1 FM College Station/Bryan, TX. If you are out of range of the station, you can listen to the show on your favorite radio app or on keos.org.

On the show you can expect to hear:

  • Jewish and Israeli news and commentary
  • Discussions of Torah and other Jewish texts
  • History of Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people
  • Discussion of spiritual concepts
  • Opinion on how to approach modern life from a traditional Torah perspective

וּדְע֗וּ כִּֽי־הִפְלָ֣ה יְ֖הֹוָה חָסִ֣יד ל֑וֹ יְהֹ֘וָ֥ה יִ֜שְׁמַ֗ע בְּקָרְאִ֥י אֵלָֽיו

You shall know that the Lord has set apart the pious man for Himself; the Lord shall hear when I call out to Him.

Psalm 4:4

From whatever walk of life you come, I hope you will find something here for you.