Rather than a discontinuity from traditional modes of learning, new explorations of digital and strategic games in Jewish learning are markedly continuous with ancient practices. An explication of the close connections between traditional modes of Jewish learning, interpretive practice, and gaming culture can help to explain how Jews of the Digital Age can adopt and are adapting modern Games for Learning practices for contemporary purposes. The chapter opens by contextualizing a notion of Jewish Games and the field of Games for Learning. Next, the chapter explains the connections between game systems and Jewish traditions. It closes with a case study of current trends in Jewish Games for Learning in progressive Judaism. How can one view Jewish holidays as heritage game systems? How are texts of the Talmud and the social practice of studying Talmud related to practices of digital and analog games and game play? The Talmud section of the chapter examines rules systems in the Talmud, the theoretical model and case generation of Talmudic sugyot (passages or sections), and the practice of pairs-sacred study, hevruta, in which study partners, sometimes overseen by a senior scholar, seek deeper understanding of the text in a collaborative delving into text and argumentation.

Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2015


“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis in Digital Judaism: Jewish Negotiations with Digital Media and Culture on April 20, 2015.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Department, Program, or Center

School of Interactive Games and Media (GCCIS)


RIT – Main Campus