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After college, I bounced back and forth between MIT and Yale. First, I took a year of economics at MIT. Then I returned to Yale (where I had been an undergraduate) and started law school in the fall of 1982. Soon after law school classes started, I made my way over to Yale Hillel and asked if there were any Talmud classes that I could take. An undergraduate woman looked at me suspiciously and asked me why I was interested in taking the class. She surmised (correctly) that I was not Jewish. I deadpanned that I hoped to help destroy Judaism through intermarriage.
A less snarky response concerns my love of gearhead basketball. When I was at MIT, a large proportion of the econ grad students would meet on Friday mornings to play a fairly physical brand of basketball. I had the pleasure of exchanging elbows with some of the greatest economists in the world today. One day, I happened to see in the MIT newspaper an ad for "Torah and chocolates." I noticed that the meetings were on Friday, just after basketball was over, and the MIT Hillel was on my path back to the department, so I thought I'd give it a try. I was raised (and confirmed) as an Episcopalian. But even though I was an agnostic graduate student, I wanted to deepen my Biblical literacy. And I thought a close reading of text would stand me in good stead for law school the next year.
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