THE MANHATTANIAN TALMUD
An Architect Prescribes the Ten Things a Scholar Needs in a City
by Ghiora Aharoni
As articulated in the Babylonian Talmud, the criteria for a city where a scholar should reside paint a picture via various requisites of life (Synagogue, slaughterer, surgeon, schoolmaster), and also present a historical portrait of the basic needs of the 3rd to 5th centuries (flagellation, a convenience, public baths). In the spirit of evolutionary thinking, the Babylonian Talmud’s ten criteria are reinterpreted in an animation of present-day Manhattan, with contemporary criteria for today’s urban scholar.
It has been taught: A scholar should not reside in a city where the following ten things are not found: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Central Park; The Brooklyn Bridge Swim; NPR; Union Square Farmer’s Market; The Gay and Lesbian Synagogue (Congregation Beit Simchat Torah); Asia Society; The Shambhala Meditation Center; Film Forum and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. R. Akiba is quoted [as including] also several kinds of fruit [in the list], because these are beneficial to the eyesight.