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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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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I Swear

A simple dispute over ownership leads the Talmudic sages into a debate, in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ about the value of a spiritual oath versus secular claims of honesty

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The Mother Tongue

In an excerpt from ‘The People and the Books,’ a portrait of Glückel of Hameln, the 17th-century Jewish woman whose access to Judaism’s foundational stories was through the Tsenerene, a Yiddish retelling of the Torah

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Jew vs. Non-Jew vs. Jew

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages attempt to deal with the risks inherent in communal loyalty taking precedence over common law and principled justice

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Heidegger Was Really a Real Nazi

Is the philosopher’s complexity enough to excuse his overt anti-Semitism? A dive into the so-called ‘black notebooks’ from the 1930s is revealing.

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‘Against Everything’ Is a Brilliant Exercise in Hope

Mark Greif’s thought-provoking new collection of essays defiantly refuses to lay waste our powers, getting and spending

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Smoothing the Path to a Sinner’s Repentance

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ ancient oral law makes it easier for thieves to regain spiritual balance with their victims—a reminder of the kinship of all Jews

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Jonathan Safran Foer’s Nice-Jewish-Boy Fiction

Campus Week: The bestselling writer’s ambitious new ‘Here I Am’ represents the triumph of sentimentality and sincerity over irony and anger, which is a great loss

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Thievery Corporation

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the theft of a pregnant cow leads the Talmudic sages to examine the concept of wages

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Is ‘An Eye for an Eye’ Really an Eye for an Eye?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis reinterpret a famous biblical verse to allow compassion to trump logic

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Reality Bites, for Immigrants With Smartphones

Lara Vapnyar’s ‘timely’ and ‘insightful’ new novel, ‘Still Here,’ wonders what the American dream looks like to former Russians

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An Ox, a Donkey, a Sheep, and a Garment Walk Into a Bar…

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ dissecting the hermeneutics that governs the Talmud’s approach to law

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