Sneaking a Peek at Poetry on the High Holidays

Just because you’re in synagogue doesn’t mean you have to read what’s in the prayer book

If Even the Angel of Death Makes Mistakes, Where Is There True Justice?

The Talmud imagines the world as organized for the benefit of Torah sages, even in matters of sex and death

Shabbat Is a Day of Rest—But Does That Mean I Can’t Text My Friends?

Some Modern Orthodox teens observe ‘half-Shabbat,’ using cell phones in private. How widespread is the trend? Is it a crisis?

Rules for Hair Cutting and Rending Garments—and Exceptions for Newborns

Daf Yomi: The Talmud’s ruling principle is that there is always a correct course of action, since God is watching

Black Jewish Congregations Get Their Own Prayer Book, After Nearly a Century

Mainstream Judaism doesn’t recognize their temples or their rabbis. In a new siddur, Black Jews tell their community’s story.

In the Days Between the Major Holidays, Little Clues to Jewish Ritual and Life

Talmudic rabbis debate professional eulogizers, trying to strike a balance between the holy and the mundane

Becoming an Unaffiliated Jew: Why I Left My Synagogue

There were a lot of little reasons I was unhappy. But ultimately, I realized I didn’t need to belong to a temple to feel Jewish.

Are Jews Meant To Be Farmers, Workers, or Thinkers?

So much of the Talmud is about working the land, and the rules that govern labor, profit, and loss

How Can We Respect Both the Sanctity of Jewish Things and the Practical Needs of the Jews?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate the value of recycling, upselling, renovation, and sacred trash

‘Jewish Karma’: When Bad Things Happen to Good People Who Do Bad Things

I regretted my unkind words as soon as I wrote them. And then the pain I’d caused another person came back to haunt me.

American Jews Speak English, but Our Sacred Texts Are in Hebrew

What happens when the most authoritative guardians of the tradition are sometimes baffled by the tradition themselves?

By the Arch of Titus: Spending Tisha B’Av in Rome

Tisha B’Av was the first Jewish holiday I learned about growing up in Soviet Ukraine, and I’ve come to observe it in unexpected ways

People Who Secretly Love Feeling Miserable on Tisha B’Av

The holiday gives us permission to mourn for many things, personal and communal, that we avoid discussing the rest of the year

When the Talmud Offers Close Readings of Sacred Fictions

Antic embellishments, like Esther being good in bed, help Talmudic rabbis to more fully explicate the text’s divine meaning

Is the Book of Esther—a Story Told in Human Terms, Not Miracles—a Holy Book?

Talmudic rabbis, like us, can only study the course of history for the elusive signs of God’s intentions

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