As We Engage in Mirth of Tu b’Av, Remember the Importance of Genetic Testing
As Jews, we don’t have many light-hearted holidays, but this week we’ll celebrate one of them, Tu b’Av. Casually known as the Jewish Valentine’s Day, Tu b’Av is the counterbalance to the most difficult of all our holidays, Tisha b’Av, which just passed.
Estie Rose '07S is a genetic counselor with YU's Program for Jewish Genetic Health
While we fast and remember all of our hardships and trials during Tisha b’Av, this week, beginning at sunset Thursday, we will engage in mirth, and celebrate love and joy. Many will wed and many, according to Jewish lore, will meet their matches on Tu b’Av.
But as with all Jewish holidays, this one still must come with a warning, albeit one deeply rooted in modernity.
As young Jews meet their mates and consider marriage, they should be told about the importance of undergoing carrier screening for Jewish genetic diseases, and act on it. Read the rest of this entry…
Yeshiva University Scholars Reflect on the Daf Yomi Phenomenon
Last night some 90,000 people gathered at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey for a ceremony celebrating the 12th completion of the daily reading of the Talmud (Siyum ha-Shas). The event followed similar ceremonies, in Jerusalem,Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, London, Melbourne, and other cities and communities around the world, in which thousands more participated in person or via closed-circuit TV.
Tens of thousands celebrated the conclusion of the a seven-and-a-half-year Daf Yomi cycle on August 1.
These events honor the conclusion and re-commencement of a seven-and-a-half-year cycle in which people—individually, with partners, or in groups—learn a folio page (two facing pages) of the Babylonian Talmud each day in a tradition known as daf yomi, “a page a day.”
The tradition was established by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the Hasidic rebbe of Lublin. Rabbi Shapiro proposed the idea to the Agudath Israel convention in Vienna in August, 1923, and the enterprise was launched with much fanfare the following Rosh Hashanah. Over the course of the 12 cycles completed thus far, the number of learners has burgeoned to many tens of thousands around the world.
To mark the occasion, Jewish Ideas Daily invited several prominent thinkers, including Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Moshe Sokolow to reflect on the phenomenon of daf yomi and their own engagement with the practice. Read the rest of this entry…