Adam Kirsch is the director of the MA program in Jewish Studies at Columbia University and the author, most recently, of The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature.
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When You Buy a Cow (or a Boat) What Do You Get From the Seller? When Is It Yours? And What Really Is a Cow Anyway?

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study goes straight to the essence of the matter. Plus, ‘fish tales’ and 750-mile-high waves.

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Going to Lvov

Polish poet and essayist Adam Zagajewski's extravagant and miraculous new collection, 'Slight Exaggeration,' takes on banality and vulgarity through elegant art

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The Art of the Deal

Talmudic rabbis regulated real estate transactions based on biblical principles of ownership and centuries of experience of the practicalities of Jewish life

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Why Jews Are Forbidden to Be Happy

Talmudic rabbis debate just how much of life should be forsaken as part of the Jewish responsibility to mourn for the past

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The Law of the Kingdom, or the Law of the Jews?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis debate whether Jews owe anything to gentiles, when it comes to property rights

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Camille Paglia on Jews and Feminism

A dialogue with Adam Kirsch, about her new collection 'Free Women, Free Men'

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Does the Talmud Legalize Squatting?

In this week's 'Daf Yomi,' putting limits on property rights

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Thanksgiving in Mongolia Revisited

A miscarriage—and other fateful devastations—in Ariel Levy’s ‘hard-hitting’ new memoir, ‘The Rules Do Not Apply’

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Daf Yomi: ‘Whoever Is Stronger Prevails’

Talmudic rabbis solve territorial disputes by giving the spoils to the victor

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Adulting With Jami Attenberg

A Brooklyn woman learns to ‘handle her shit’ in the new novel, 'All Grown Up'

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If You’ll Buy That, the Rabbi’ll Throw the Golden Gate in Free

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study examines the origin of rules for real estate transactions

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Israeli Immigration Thriller Becomes Global Sensation

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s suspenseful new ‘Waking Lions’ turns the fateful collision of an Israeli doctor and an African immigrant into an indictment of surging nationalism

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Talmud to Betsy DeVos: Yes, We Need Public Schools

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ rabbinical thinking on the relationship of public goods and private obligations explains the advantages of universal education accessible to all

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Who Wrote the Torah?

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study dives into a foundational puzzle of the religion

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Depression Classic

Daphne Merkin's alarmingly powerful memoir, ‘This Close to Happy,’ delves into the childhood wreckage and adult emptiness of ‘the process of depression’

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What the Talmud Says About Trump’s Border Wall, Paid For by Mexico

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ when it comes to privacy, good fences may indeed make good neighbors

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From America to Russia and Back, ‘The Patriots’ Tells Us Stories That Couldn’t Be More Current

Sana Krasikov's 'boldly imagined' new novel sees Russia as a place where it is impossible to keep your hands clean

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What the Rich Owe the Poor

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the deep Jewish roots of income equality, and the shared dignity it brings

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The Genius of Judaism and Bernard-Henri Lévy

The morally minded French public intellectual applies 21st-century chutzpah to our radical age

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The Talmud as Epic

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ brings to life rabbinic heroes on their intellectual battlefield: larger-than-life figures worthy of Greek drama

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Merry Christmas, Donald Trump

TO: America  FROM: The Jews

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Why the Talmud Allows Jews to Profit Off Gentiles

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, focusing on religious duty over secular egalitarianism

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Not in Heaven

Man’s authority to interpret the Torah in a ‘postmagical age’ is the subject of this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ rabbinical debate

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Michael Chabon’s Apollo Mission to the Past

The new Moonglow is a novel in the form of a memoir, a superhero comic in the form of prose, and a paean to the fading Greatest Generation

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The Coin of the Realm

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the finer points of monetary transactions, and the attendant honesty ingrained in them

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At Home in History, and Nowhere Else

Saul Friedländer’s ‘small masterpiece in the literature of the Holocaust’

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Need a Reason to Hope This Campaign Season? Try the Timeless Talmud.

Can it get any worse? Yes, yes, it can, a lot worse, but the continuity of learning in the ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle has remained unbroken.

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Lost and Found

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the Talmud transforms absolute Torah commandments into contingent human laws, prizing practicality over literalism

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The Jew Who Killed the Banks?

Alan Greenspan: genius or villain? A new biography, ‘The Man Who Knew,’ prosecutes and praises the conductor of a wild market ride

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The Book That Obama Won’t Read, But Hillary Clinton Should

Sixty years after the Suez Crisis, two new histories of the Egypt-Israel conflict try to garner lessons on the Mideast and American power in a changing world

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