Today we begin a new series of occasional posts featuring essential resources from current or past Mandel Center projects.

oldbooksWhat are the Talmudic sugyot (topics or discussions) that every educated Jew ought to know, the most famous or significant Talmudic discussions?  This document, compiled as part of the Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy in Jewish Studies project, presents a list of 60+ sugyot nominated by a diverse group of instructors of rabbinic literature in various settings. The criteria clearly range widely, with the result that the nominees include both aggadic and halakhic sugyot, and sugyot chosen for their theological and ideological significance, their contemporary practical significance, or their centrality in discussions among commentators.

The resulting list is quite obviously the product of a committee, via a process of addition without subtraction or prioritization. It is hard to imagine that anyone would actually believe that these 67 sugyot are “what a Jew should know.” Nevertheless, with all of those caveats, the
list represents an interesting set – and there has been abundant interest in the results.

Download: What sugyot should an educated Jew know? [PDF]