The third part of David’s series, Unorthodox Episodes from the Talmud, explores a fascinating series of interconnected stories involving:
- a high-level international diplomatic mission,
- undercover rabbinical espionage,
- a cast of remarkable Talmudic rabbinical figures,
- parental concern,
- a curious question of Jewish law,
- the mystical powers of the rabbis,
- a sighting of looted treasures from the temple in Jerusalem,
- and a quest to overturn devastating Roman decrees.
David discusses key Talmudic personalities from the first two centuries, including:
- Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
- Rabbi Yossi Ben Halafta
- Rabbi Reuben Ben Strobilus
- Rabbi Yossi HaGellili
- Rabbi Eleizer Ben Yossi
as well as (lehavdil) Ben Tamalia.
He also provides historical context for the events discussed in the Talmudic passages, some of the prevailing cultural and religious norms of the time, and the messages that arise from this unorthodox episode of the Talmud.