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.

In the Talmud, Jews in Exile Are Considered Defenseless Before Their Enemies

Daf Yomi: The one protection God granted the Jews was to scatter them, so that no single enemy could destroy them all at once

When the Rabbis Do Things by the Book, They Give the Talmud Its ‘Talmudic’ Qualities

In this week’s Daf Yomi, deference, privilege, and the appearance of impropriety from the rabbis of ancient Jewish society

Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt (1963)

The book that taught America how to think about the Holocaust

Daniel Deronda, George Eliot (1876)

The first, and greatest, philosemitic English novel

The Puttermesser Papers, Cynthia Ozick (1997)

A woman, her golem, and the keys to the city

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by M.H. Abrams (1962)

The people of the book’s other Bible

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Giorgio Bassani (1962)

Doomed Jewish lives, behind high walls

The Jewish War, Flavius Josephus (75)

An eyewitness account of Jewish defeat at Roman hands

Guide for the Perplexed, Maimonides (12th c.)

A bridge from the sacred to the secular

Kaddish, Leon Wieseltier (1998)

A prayer for the dead, and for the life of books

Babylonian Talmud (770)

Judaism: A User’s Guide

The Bible

In the beginning

Only Yesterday, S.Y. Agnon (1945)

With Israel’s Nobel Laureate, the personal was more than political: it was religious.

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, Delmore Schwartz (1938)

Forgotten genius was Lou Reed’s teacher, Saul Bellow’s inspiration

Altneuland, Theodor Herzl (1902)

The utopian novel that became a reality

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