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WATCH: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler Shows Off His Talmud Knowledge

Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler isn’t just busy preparing subpoenas for the Trump administration – he’s also showing off his Talmud skills.

Attending an inauguration ceremony on Ellis Island on Monday for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials, Nadler spoke to political communications consultant Ezra Friedlander about the proper time to say the Shema prayer in the morning.

“The reasoning is, well, working people get up at such time, even kings get up at 9:00 or whenever time, therefore, you do Krias Shema,” he said. “In other words, you set the Shema for when people are ready to do it. Then that got turned around!”

Nadler was citing from the very first tractate of the Mishnah, the collection of oral commentaries that makes up part of the Talmud. Nadler attended the Crown Heights Yeshiva as a child; he is the only yeshiva-educated member of Congress.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher




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