Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Scholar-in-Residence weekend at COS

What does a retired clinical chemist with two grown children and no formal Jewish education know about the Talmud? As it turns out, a lot...

Maggie Anton grew up in a secular Jewish household, and had little investment in her Judaism until she was married. In 1992, she joined a women's Talmud class at the home of Rachel Adler, now a professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. Surprised by how much she loved engaging in the Hebrew and Aramaic text, she delved even deeper into the text and its commentaries.

She learned that Rashi, the 11th century French scholar famous for his commentary on the Torah and the Talmud, had no sons, but several daughters. Intrigued by tidbits from tradition-like reports that Rashi's daughters wore t'filin-she began researching his family and his time. The result was the award-winning series of Jewish historical novels, "Rashi's Daughters."

Her next project was a two-part series on life among the Rabbis of the Talmud in the 3rd century, including the prevalence of magic, titled "Rav Hisda's Daughter." Most recently, she published "50 Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say About You-Know-What," a light-hearted look at our Sages' surprisingly progressive views on sexuality.

Anton will be Congregation Ohev Shalom's Edward S. Ackerman Scholar-in-Residence during the weekend of March 2-3. At services on Friday night, which will begin at 6:15 p.m., she will speak on "Breaking Barriers: The Making of a Talmud Student"; a Shabbat dinner (paid RSVP required) will follow. On Shabbat morning, services begin at 9:30 a.m., and Maggie will speak on "How Women Shaped Rashi's Community." Following services and Kiddush lunch, she will present "Jewish Magic? Believe It!"

The weekend concludes on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m., with Havdalah and a presentation on "50 Shades of Talmud." Anton will be available to sell and sign her books.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and all sponsors receive a signed copy of the Maggie Anton book of their choice. For more information, including RSVPs and reservations for Shabbat dinner, call 407-298-4650 or email Office@OhevShalom.org.


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