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Are Pit Bulls Really Dangerous? Reflections on Rabbinic Constructions of Risk

Hosted By: Valley Beit Midrash

People used to fear bloodhounds. Now they fear pit bulls. What we think of as dangerous changes over time, subject to a variety of political and cultural forces. In this lecture, we will study the rabbinic notion of dangerous animals as it appears in the Mishnah, and then we will focus on a story in the Babylonian Talmud. We will explore rabbinic constructions of danger and consider how those constructions can help us reflect critically on our own assumptions about risk in everyday life and in the world at large.

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