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.

Magical Thinking, Superstition, and Incantations in Jewish Oral Law

By elevating witches and demons to the level of gods, Talmudic rabbis diminished religious thought

Philip Roth, Master of Deception

The Nobel laureate chronicled the American Jewish Experience

When the Rabbis Got Together for Shabbat Dinner, Drama—and Law—Ensued

In the Talmud, examples of real-life rabbinic behavior and the intensely personal nature of lawmaking

Jonathan Franzen’s Love Letter to the Doyen of Jewish Intellectual Vienna

The anointed king of American letters’ eccentric new book, ‘The Kraus Project,’ is also hate mail for our shallow culture

We No Longer Live in the World of Talmudic Rabbis. What’s a Modern Jew to Do?

In the Bible, the rabbis had the most accurate possible description of the world—a flawed and limited cosmology

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

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