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.

Talmudic Rabbis, All Men, Admit They Cannot Bring Women Under Their Power

In debating the principles of intentional sin, sages find that pleading ignorance is no defense, even if not all laws can be followed

Aharon Appelfeld Creates a Jewish Saint in ‘Suddenly, Love’

In his new novel, the great Israeli writer conjures a slow-burn connection between an innocent caretaker and her aging charge

Why Did God Choose the Jewish People To Receive the Torah?

Talmudic rabbis debate the paradoxical belief in Jewish chosenness despite the evidence of Jewish powerlessness

I Dream of Lansky: The Dead Jewish Mob King Rules Zachary Lazar’s Law-Bending Novel

At the intersection of artifice and experience comes a beguiling fantasia on Jewish themes, ‘I Pity the Poor Immigrant’

Which Came First: The Chicken, the Egg, or the Divine Law That Governs Their Use?

The apparent abstraction of Talmudic rulings, immune to the vagaries of history, are also a key to Jewish survival

Jugglers, Acrobats, a Magnificent Temple—and Notably No Political Strife

In the Talmud, nostalgic, biblical, divine explanations override accurate secular history and chronology

Hungarian Gold Train Stops for Good Americans, Bad Israelis in Ayelet Waldman’s New Novel

‘Love and Treasure’ weaves a multigenerational tale through World War II back to a lost European paradise

Why Read Daf Yomi? To Rediscover an Older Way of Imagining the Jewish Spirit.

To the Talmudic rabbis, religion was not opposed to the law but deeply connected to its study, even if dialogue wins over decree

Simon Schama Moderates a Moderate History of Moderate Jews

‘The Story of the Jews’ is the most important TV documentary about Jewish history since Abba Eban’s famous ‘Heritage’ series

The Talmud Is a Training Manual for Jews Preparing for the Next Holy Era

For a hundred generations Jews lived in anticipation of redemption, a historical tension that continues to define Judaism

Jewish Culture Was Not Always a Response to Non-Jewish Culture

Why read the Talmud as a secular Jew? In part, for its expression of an independent Jewish creativity and spirituality.

Rationalism, Mysticism, Slaves, and a Sukkah Made From an Elephant

The Talmud describes rabbis who were not just judges and legal analysts, but magicians as well

In the Talmud, Jews Losing Touch With the Everyday Words of the Holy Land

In staking claims about the validity of Jewish identity, the rabbis show that the Diaspora has existed for nearly as long as Judaism

Math Problem for Talmudic Rabbis: Building the Right Size Sukkah

Pi, irrational numbers, and squaring the circle are all brought to bear to find justifications for tradition

‘The Museum of Extraordinary Things’ Is Extra Ordinary

In her latest novel, Alice Hoffman renders the brutal world of Lower East Side immigrants in the romantic hues her readers expect

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