The Judge Has Only What His Eyes Can See: Law and Doubt in the Talmud

Date: Apr 03, 2019

Time: noon - 1:00 p.m.

Sponsor: Online Learning

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning


For a text that serves as the foundation for Jewish law, it’s surprising that the Talmud often records disputes without issuing a verdict. What might have motivated this reluctance to produce a final ruling? We will explore the Talmud’s portrayals of the problems that ensue when abstract law meets messy human reality, and we’ll consider the connection between those legal tensions and an increasingly skeptical rabbinic attitude towards legal certainty.

Three Wednesdays
April 3, 10, 17, 2019
12:00–1:00 p.m. ET


Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics Sarah Wolf received her PhD from Northwestern University, where she studied practices of textual interpretation in ancient and medieval Jewish culture. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “The Rabbinic Legal Imagination: Scholasticism and Narrativity in the Babylonian Talmud,” reveals the narrative features of scholastic approaches to law in late antique Jewish literature. Ms. Wolf received her BA in Literature from Yale University and has studied Rabbinics at several institutions, including the Drisha Institute and Mechon Hadar. 

Cost: $60 (includes all curricular materials)

Space is limited. Advance registration required.

For more information, contact Lynn Feinman at or (212) 678-8821.