Talmud Mania

Image from stjudasmaccabaeus.wordpress.com

South Korea, primarily Christian with a strong Buddhist history, has recently been affiliated with mandatory Talmud readings in the classroom. There had been speculation before over the relationship between Koreans and the Jewish faith, but now the studies that had formerly been a hidden practice is now an open study in the Korean curriculum. More Koreans now own a copy of the Talmud than Israelis. Korean ambassador to Israel, Ma Young-Sam explained the new obsession with the Talmud by stating “We believe that if we teach our children Talmud, they will also become geniuses.”

This stereotype about the Jewish faith is the premise behind Korea’s new religious enforcement. Religion in the classroom is being embraced by families, unlike our own  constant controversy over Church and State. Koreans in the work-force are even asking for time off during Jewish holidays. Though Talmud studies are mandatory, and many Koreans have spoken about wanting to convert to Orthodox Judaism, converting religions is apparently “impossible” in the state.

The inability to religiously convert, however, has not restrained Koreans from practicing Judaism. Young-Sam, who believes that the Talmud will prompt success in future generations, also speaks about the family values that Judaism promotes. Many Korean families hold a Shabbat-like service in their home Friday nights, eating dinner together and resting a sundown. At a Christian chapel on a US Army base in Seoul, a new form of Jewish Koreans hold a mass-service on Friday nights.

Now we have to wonder how this will affect American Koreans. Asian culture has historically ‘trained’ younger generations to excel at all costs. If the present Talmud-mania continues, we might be seeing a spike in Jewish Americans due to a cultural evolution in Koreans across the globe.


  1. judaism is also a nice religion just like christianity. my grand dad is also a jewish.^

    My current blog site

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