Friday, June 17, 2011
While we're on the subject of literature, this article on the future of the sefer (that is, the book, or more accurately, books of sacred writings and rabbinic interpretation) is worth a read. Lawrence Hoffman argued several years ago (just pre-iphone) that we were entering a phase similar to the time before the printing press, where you had a literate population but there wasn't the need for books per se, with worship being more fluid. Perhaps we're starting to see that with Jewish learning now, with mroe and more material available online, with running commentary (both traditional as well as the more typical internet forum discussion etc.). And if so, that's not necessarily a bad thing; though it will radically change the way we study (would chevruta now not just be 'in person' or between people in real time, but over internet discussion) and the way we process information. No surprises there, I suppose. Perhaps we should all go back and read Talmud and the Internet?