from the message going out on the 1st of adar announcing the collection of the half-shekel, to the bitter reality that in a post-destruction world where the half-shekel is no longer used. The practicalities of collecting money from people who live scattered apart, from jerusalem and beyond, including Bavel, the place of exile - which is discussed on the first page, and the last page which faces up to a world without the Temple. But there is not cause for despair as there is on the last page some hope that the Temple will be rebuilt. This section of the Talmud is focused on the temple, it's donations and process of making things holy. But it concludes acknowledging that all that discussion is now over. It is practically irrelevant.
I decided to do this section of the Talmud in collage. it was a bit of a whim but has greatly affected how I reply to the text. Do I just make a pile of objects and images that are referring to in the learning? or to think differently about each page. some days I have felt that if only I was tackling this section in another way - pen & ink - then the drawings would have been much much quicker.... each section of the Talmud brings its own character. and this bit is quite strange. It is the Yerusalmi not the Bavli Talmud. a whole different style. and just as i got used to it, it was over.
oh well. onwards to Mesechet Yoma...
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