Torah & Texts

Clash of The Scholars: Talmud animation from Berachot 27b

By MJ Kaufman and Aron Bothman

Talmud, interpreted by emerging artists

Artists’ Statement: Revolt! Impeachment! Satire! Clash of the Scholars tells the story of a young student in the study hall at Yavneh who instigates a disagreement among the Rabbis over the evening prayer.

The disagreement leads to a revolt and the impeachment of the leading scholar, the somewhat authoritarian Rabban Gamliel. For years prior, Gamliel had ruled according to his principles, excluding or humiliating Rabbis with alternative opinions. Now Gamliel’s preference for traditional practice is called into question by Rabbis who want to be more flexible and inclusive.

We chose to tell the story in a contemporary University setting and used a political satire cartoon style with a newsreel feel to reflect the political undercurrents. Who will take over Yavneh? Will the Rabbis err on the side of tradition or change? Will Yavneh disappear completely? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Created in chevruta, or partnership, by a writer and a visual artist as part of our Studio G-dcast program held in 2012-3.

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Talmud Character Map

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Berakhot 27b-28a Source Sheet

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BimBam Talmud Curriculum

The development of this program was made possible in part by funds granted by the Covenant Foundation. The statements made and the views expressed in the individual projects, however, are solely the responsibility of the artists.

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