Dear friends and readers. Seven years ago, on this blog, I began a series of blog posts based on adult education classes I had given: a close reading of the Babylonian Talmud's version of the R. Shimon bar Yohai story. For several years now I have had in mind to rewrite that and other "Talmudic readings" that appeared on this blog and that I have taught, and perhaps even publish them in book form.
I have begun that process and hope to publish the book, tentatively titled Sage Stories: A Selection of Readings from the Babylonian Talmud. In honor of Lag Ba-Omer, I present below the first part of the Rashbi story (in its entirety, the Rashbi story will constitute three chapters of the book).
I would love your comments, feedback, and advice for publishing. I hope to write it in a way that is accessible to people with little or no talmudic background or familiarity with halakhic terms and concepts.
Without further ado: