In the beit midrash this semester we have branched out beyond the rabbinic story to see how these stories connect with the legal material that surrounds them, giving you a broader view of the Talmud and rabbinic texts in general. Given the fact that you spend most of your lives in education settings where you study texts from the Western tradition, you are in an ideal position to compare and contrast these vastly different cultural expressions. How do rabbinic texts differ from those you read in English class at school? In what ways are they the same? Do you bring any of the close reading skills you learn in one context to the other?