Why read the Talmud as a secular Jew? In part, for its expression of an independent Jewish creativity and spirituality.
After reading my book out loud, I finally accepted the truth: I’m just not an oral tradition kind of guy
I pray with angry, damaged, and difficult men. I stay because they’re like my brothers. And because sometimes they change.
The Talmud describes rabbis who were not just judges and legal analysts, but magicians as well
In staking claims about the validity of Jewish identity, the rabbis show that the Diaspora has existed for nearly as long as Judaism
I had to lie about my religion to enter the kingdom on business, but I would continue to daven every morning in secret
Pi, irrational numbers, and squaring the circle are all brought to bear to find justifications for tradition
In dissenting opinions, Talmudic rabbis propose and debate every detail of Sukkot’s booth and, in so doing, measure God
A holy desecration is unethical in part because of the social pressure to reflect well on the tribe
The Torah-observant gentiles of the Hebrew Roots movement get circumcised, lay tefillin, and grow peyos
Manna, and fasting, are not just miracles of sustenance and faith, but also elements of jurisprudence
After my child died, I reconnected with God through prayer—which is the point of Kaddish, on both sides of the mechitza
Illogical Jewish laws are ‘matters that Satan challenges’: raising doubts for enemies of Judaism and skeptical Jews
Judaism’s manual of sacred technology prizes holiness over beauty, action over thought, and ritual over belief