The Talmud and the Internet A Journey between Worlds

Jonathan Rosen




Trade Paperback

144 Pages



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The Talmud and the Internet, in which Jonathan Rosen examines the contradiction of his inheritance as an American and a Jew, is a moving and exhilarating mediation on modern technology and ancient religious impulses. Blending memoir, religious history, and literary reflection, Rosen explores the remarkable parallels between a page of Talmud and the home page of a website and reflects on the contrasting lives and deaths of his American and European grandmothers.


Praise for The Talmud and the Internet

"A meditation on his 'journey between two worlds' on the one hand, the world of rabbinical Judaism as embodied in talmudic literature and traditional Jewish values, and, on the other, the world of electronic media and communications as embodied in the Internet and the world-wide web . . . Within the course of a scant 132 pages, we are introduced to Josephus, Proust, Rabbi Akiva, Milton, Henry Adams, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Freud, Darwin, Marx, Yohanan Ben Zakkai, Blake and more."—Peter Ben Kussell, Conservative Judaism
"Wisdom, intelligence, and tenderness, all in one short volume. Brilliant!"—Jim Crace
"Reading and re-reading Rosen's little book I found myself thinking, to my own surprise, of E.M. Forster . . . All through this humane and gentle book one is reminded of the famous epigraph of Forster's Howard’s End: 'Only connect.' Connecting is a practice encouraged by both the Talmud and the Internet, and by Jonathan Rosen as well."—Frank Kermode, The New York Times Book Review
"The Talmud and the Internet is a lyrical meditation about the quest to illuminate what has come before us in order to live wisely . . . [It] is a journey not only between two worlds but among the earth questions and the great souls who have considered life's purpose amid often horrifying evidence."—Nessa Rapoport, Los Angeles Times
"We are moved and enlightened  . . . Others have raised the felt contradictions between the tragic and luminous Jewish heritage and the ahistorical comforts and complacencies of American life. Few have managed to do so with such a mix of the searching, the modest, and . . . with such charm."—Richard Eder, The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Jonathan Rosen is the author of the novel Eve’s Apple. He created the Arts & Letters section of The Forward, which he edited for ten years. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The American Scholar, and several anthologies. He lives in New York City.
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  • Jonathan Rosen

  • Jonathan Rosen is the author of the novels Joy Comes in the Morning and Eve's Apple. His essays have appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker, among other publications. He is the editorial director of Nextbook.