Adam Kirsch

Adam Kirsch is a contributing editor for Tablet Magazine and the author of Benjamin Disraeli, a biography in the Nextbook Press Jewish Encounters book series.

A Math Genius’s Sad Calculus

Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, pens a disturbing new memoir on mathematics—and survival

Of Lice and Men

Study of the Talmud’s second tractate reveals how the rabbis stuck to logic and made it sacred

Big Eater

Food-obsessed Jews, including an obese matriarch, are subtly rendered in Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins

The Rabbis’ Mental World

The last chapter of the first tractate brings modern readers back to sex, bowel movements, and thunder

Talmudic Pride and Prejudice

This week’s Daf Yomi considers—with Chaucerian verve—whether a rabbinic elite spoke for the Jewish people

School of Arts and Sciences

In a haunting memoir, an Upper West Sider puts family secrets—including AIDS—under the microscope

The Right Way to Pray

One Talmudic rabbi’s prayers work, while others’ fall on deaf ears. Is humility more pleasing to God than pomp?

Pulpless Fiction

Michael Chabon’s new novel Telegraph Avenue is typically stylish, but overwritten

Talmudic Rebbe-llion

A coup at the rabbinic academy deposes Gamliel and unleashes a torrent of questions

Let’s Get Physical

In this week’s Talmud reading, the soul addresses God, but the body has its own agenda

A Poet for Our New Gilded Age

The latest collection from the great Jewish poet Frederick Seidel expresses intimate revulsion at human feats

Talmud’s Warriors and Scholars

This week’s Daf Yomi reframes the debate over the primacy of force or scholarship in Jewish values

The Burden of Israeli Strength

Where the Jackals Howl, Amos Oz’s newly reissued 1965 story collection, questions the virtues of toughness

The Talmud’s Many Demons

Sages in a superstitious age accepted the existence of invisible devils and the use of magic to render them visible

A Talmudic Journey Begins

Our book critic dives into Daf Yomi’s daily regimen expecting a law code, but instead finds a chain of questions

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