The Talmud is Not Like a TV Series

The Forward's comparison of the Talmud to the TV series Arrested Development is a flop.

Simply put - I don't know what Ezra Glinter is talking about in his column when he says that the Talmud's, "discussions wander into areas that are only tangentially related." It's important to know what that means because that is one basis for his comparison between the Talmud and the TV series. The Talmud that I know does not wander tangentially.

The other point Glinter makes is that the TV series and the Talmud have recurring interrelated tropes:

...putting those pieces together is not so different — in a way — from connecting the parts of “Arrested Development” on the basis of recurring jokes. James Joyce famously remarked of “Ulysses” that “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” And in fact, both the Talmud and “Arrested Development” are similar in this respect to “Ulysses,” with its immense web of internal references and allusions.
I'm thinking why not throw in Superman comic books, Golf Digest Magazine and the Wall Street Journal? Lots of interrelated tropes in those works. 

Bottom line, if you don't pay any attention to the contents of the TV series, of James Joyce and of the Talmud, and if you have imbibed a large quantity of alcohol or some chemical substance, then the comparisons at the Forward make perfect sense. Otherwise, not really. The Talmud is not a stream of consciousness about Dublin Ireland on June 16, 1904. The Talmud is not a comedy about a fictitious Bluth family from Newport Beach, California. Content does matter when you make comparisons, even attempted comical comparisons.

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