If All the Seas Were Ink

If All the Seas Were Ink
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Ilana Kurshan

Author and Translator

In September 2017 Ilana Kurshan's book of the same name was released to enormous praise. Her beautiful tale of learning Talmud every day is masterful. Her charge to us in this ELI Talk to be open to how ... See more


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If All The Seas Were Ink

Buy now Reviews Praise At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan joined the world's largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for "daily page" of the Talmud, a book of rabbinic teachings spanning about 600 years and the basis for all codes of Jewish law.

What Is Daf Yomi and How Does It Work?

Daf Yomi is the practice of studying one page of the Talmud daily in a seven year cycle. By "page," we mean two "normal pages" front and back of one sheet of paper, also known as a folio. One page a day for a total of 7.5 years.

What Is the Talmud? | My Jewish Learning

An intergenerational rabbinic conversation that is studied, not read. Talmud (literally, "study") is the generic term for the documents that comment and expand upon the Mishnah ("repeating"), the first work of rabbinic law, published around the year 200 CE by Rabbi Judah the Patriarch in the land of Israel.


See this Source Sheet on Sefaria.


Ilana  Kurshan, 

Author and Translator

Ilana Kurshan is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink, published in 2017 by St. Martin’s Press and a finalist for the 2018 Natan Book Award. She has translated books of Jewish interest by Ruth Calderon, Benjamin Lau, and Micah Goodman, as well as novels, short stories, and children’s picture books.  She is a regular contributor to Lilith Magazine, where she is the Book Reviews Editor, and her writing has appeared in The Forward, The World Jewish Digest, Hadassah, Nashim, Zeek, Kveller, and Tablet. Kurshan is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, summa cum laude, History of Science) and Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and four children. Her writing can be found at www.ilanakurshan.com