If All the Seas Were Ink

Excerpted review from Goodreads.com:

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. A runner, a reader and a romantic, Kurshan adapted to its pace, attuned her ear to its poetry, and discovered her passions in its pages. By the time she completed the Talmud after seven and a half years, Kurshan was remarried with three young children.

Kurshan takes us on a deeply accessible and personal guided tour of the Talmud, shedding new light on its stories and offering insights into its arguments both for those already familiar with the text and for those who have never encountered it. For people of the book both Jewish and non-Jewish If All the Seas Were Ink is a celebration of learning through literature how to fall in love once again. 


I recommend this book as an excellent description of one woman’s personal journey through Talmud and life. The author has a deep grasp of literature (both religious and secular) and weaves quotations and poems throughout the book. The brief excerpts from the Talmud will whet your appetite for more Jewish learning. At times, I found the author’s description of her personal circumstances to be repetitive but her joyful transition throughout the book is inspiring. I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5.