The Talmud and the Internet

A Journey between Worlds

Jonathan Rosen

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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"Not long after my grandmother died, my computer crashed and I lost the journal I had kept of her dying." So begins this powerful, personal consideration of modern technology and ancient religious impulses by the celebrated young novelist, essayist, and culture editor of the Forward. Jonathan Rosen blends religious history, memoir, and literary reflection as he compares the fortunate life of his American-born grandmother to the life of his European-born grandmother who was murdered by Nazis.

The Talmud and the Internet explores the contradictions of Rosen's inheritance and toggles between personal paradoxes and those of the larger world. Along the way, he chronicles the remarkable parallels between a page of Talmud and the home page of a Web site. In the loose, associative logic and the vastness of each, he discovers not merely the disruption of a broken world but a kind of disjointed harmony. In the same way that the Talmud helped Jews survive after the destruction of the Temple by making Jewish culture portable and personal, the all-inclusive Internet serves a world that is both more uprooted and more connected than ever before. In this profound, ultimately hopeful meditation, Rosen charts the territory between doubt and belief, tragedy and prosperity, the world of the living and the world of the dead.

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Turn it and turn it for everything is in it …—Babylonian Talmud
Not long after my grandmother died, my computer crashed and I lost the journal I had kept of her dying. I’d made diskette copies of everything else on my computer—many drafts of a novel, scores of reviews and essays and probably hundreds of articles, but I had not printed out, backed up or made a copy of the diary. No doubt this had to do with my ambivalence about writing and where it leads, for I was recording not only my feelings but also the concrete details of her death.

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Praise for The Talmud and the Internet

"'Turn it and turn it for everything is in it,' says Jonathan Rosen's epigraph from the Babylonian Talmud. I'm still turning this gemlike little volume, and every time I look, I find a new facet . . . Rosen's wise and heartfelt book is a home page with links to infinity."
-Anne Fadiman

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About the Author

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen is the author of Eve's Apple and the culture editor of The Forward. He lives in New York City.

Jonathan Rosen

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The Talmud and the Internet
A Journey between Worlds
Jonathan Rosen

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429935883
ISBN10: 142993588X
112 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
September 2001
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312420178
ISBN10: 031242017X
5 x 7 1/2 inches, 144 pages
$16.00
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From The Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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