Objectives: In addition to the learning objectives in Elementary Talmud, to prepare for the examination, the candidate is expected to be able to read and comprehend advanced commentaries from previously unseen texts which have a plain answer buried among a mass of material; ferret out the one line interspersed between many paragraphs in the commentary that gives the legal codification and understand their particular approach to the text based on their comments; infer the underlying premise of the talmudic and commentary text; evaluate the relationship between parts of the legal discussion; restate in one’s own words and support the different points of view; propose alternative suggestions; state what ideas justify conclusions and defend this position, and suggest which commentary is more logical and appropriate to the topic.
Instruction: The proficiency examination process is intended to measure a body of knowledge that the candidate has acquired through other learning experiences. Each examination is administered under secure and proctored conditions. Content covered includes: Advanced commentaries (Tosafot, Rosh, RAN, Nimukei Yosef, Ritva), determining alternative interpretations, asking relevant logical questions, the talmudic argumentative and deductive process, and the methodology of early commentators and its effect on codification of Jewish law. The candidate is expected to read and understand more complex unseen Aramaic texts.
This course has a value of 3 upper-level undergraduate credits.