Beth El Welcomes Maggie Anton as Scholar-in-Residence


Beth El Congregation will host historical fiction author Maggie Anton as its scholar-in-residence for the weekend of May 5-7.

Beth El last had a scholar-in-residence more than a year ago with Joshua Kulp, a Talmudic scholar who wrote a commentary on the Haggadah. Anton has also studied the Talmud, which informs her series, “Rashi’s Daughters” and “Rav Hisda’s Daughter.” She is also the author of “Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.”

“What she is trying to achieve is to make the Talmud accessible to everyone, particularly women, for whom the study of Talmud was not permitted for many thousands of years,” said Gail Lipsitz, who is helping with publicity for the weekend’s event.

There will be several events over the course of the weekend, most of which are free and open to the public. On May 5, Shabbat services will be at 6 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Shabbat dinner and discussion with Anton. This is the only charged event at $36 per adult.

At 9 a.m. May 6 there will be a parsha class with Anton, followed by a Shabbat morning service at 10 a.m. and an informal discussion with Anton at 12:45 p.m.

May 7, or “the main event,” as Lipsitz called it, will be a light breakfast at 9:30 a.m. followed by Anton’s talk named for her book, “Fifty Shades of Talmud.” There will also be copies of her books available for purchase and signing.

“What it does is create a kind of community over the weekend, which is really special,” Lipsitz said, adding that she thought the discussions would be very interesting for those attending. “I think people are intrigued because once you have the opportunity to study the Talmud, you realize the rabbis discussed all aspects of human life.”

Those interested in attending the dinner should call Ellen Marks at 410-580-5166.

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