Next Meeting: Sunday, September 26, 7:00 pm
We're reading: As a Driven Leaf, by Milton Steinberg.
Based on the life of Elisha ben Abuyah, Steinberg's novel wrestles with the 2nd century Jewish struggle to reconcile Rabbinic Judaism both culturally and philosophically with Greek Hellenistic society. In Elisha's struggle, Steinberg speculates about questions and events that may have driven such a man to apostasy, and addresses questions of Jewish self-determination in the Roman Empire, the Bar Kochba Revolt (132–135), and above all the interdependence of reason and faith. Although the novel draws on Talmudic tradition to create the framework for Elisha's life, Steinberg himself wrote that his novel "springs from historical data without any effort at rigid conformity or literal confinement to them." [From Wikipedia]
Discussion leader: J.R.
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Meeting ID: 813 3646 4877
Limits on Choice of Book
We have chosen to limit Teletefila Book Club selections to works of fiction under 500 pages. We aim to host a Book Club discussion every 4-6 weeks (perhaps with breaks or adjustments around the major Jewish holidays), and this is about the upper limit of what most of our members can commit to reading in that amount of time. We also urge book discussion leaders to avoid selections that are too close to current political controversies (i.e., fictionalized accounts of current events like Joel Klein’s Primary Colors). This does not mean all books that in some way deal with political themes are off-limits (i.e., All the King’s Men would make a perfectly fine selection). But we have plenty of other opportunities to talk about current events and politics as a minyan, and Book Club aims to provide a much-needed break from the relentless, 24-hour news cycle we all live with.
It is not necessary or even preferable that books have Jewish themes or content, but such books are welcome as possible Book Club selections.
Suggesting a Book
We take suggestions from all members of Teletefila, or anyone else regularly attending Book Club, as to Book Club selections. If you wish to offer a suggestion, e-mail our Book Club Coordinator, J.R. Wilheim, at email@example.com. When J.R. has received a few suggestions, he will send out a poll with the proposed selections for the next Book Club Discussion. If there is a clear winner in the poll, that book will be chosen. If there is a tie, J.R. will select the book suggestion he received first, and the other one will be the next book club selection.
At his discretion, J.R. may deviate from this practice if there is overwhelming consensus at a Book Discussion about what the next book selection should be. But even when a book selection has already been made by acclamation at a Book Club Discussion, suggestions are welcome at any time, and all suggestions received will be voted on in the near future.
Rotation and Choice of Leader
There is no formal rotation of who will be the next Book Discussion Leader, though J.R. will try to make sure that there is variety in who leads Book Club Discussions so that everyone who wishes to will have a chance to lead. There are no formal rules about how much time must pass between two instances of a person’s serving as Book Discussion Leader, but J.R. will aim not to have the same person serve as Leader for two discussions in a row.
Arranging a Time for Book Club
We do not (at least as of yet) have a set schedule for Book Club Discussions. Our first took place on a Sunday evening at 5 p.m. Given people’s work schedules, it is likely all future Book Club discussions will take place on Sundays, but time is likely to be flexible. As noted above, we aim to have a Book Club discussion every 4-6 weeks but are flexible around a Discussion Leader’s schedule. When you have selected a book, please e-mail J.R. Wilheim (see e-mail above) to suggest a time. Announcements concerning Book Club will be sent in the Teletefila e-mails, which are sent out by Nostradamus Sher (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reminders about Book Club may also occasionally be made at the end of services. A Zoom link for the Book Club will be sent in these e-mails the week the discussion takes place.
A Note on Guests
Although this Book Club is affiliated with Teletefila, it is perfectly fine to invite guests who may be interested in joining discussion of a particular book. We are always happy to meet new people.
(Prepared by J.R., Book Club Chair)