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.

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

The Emancipation of Fanny von Arnstein and the Quandaries of German Jewry

Hilde Spiel’s newly re-translated biography of the Austrian aristocrat is a cautionary tale of Jews during the German Enlightenment

When Talmud Is the Focus of Jewish Observance, Theology Comes to Life

Instead of asking us to passively agree with the rabbis, oral law engages the intellect in concrete problems of logic and interpretation

My Jewish Mother Was a Communist, and Other Tales of Lost Leftists

Jonathan Lethem’s new novel ‘Dissident Gardens’ traces three generations of American Jewish radicalism

In the Talmud, Minds Full of Torah Instead of Bowls Full of Sacrificial Blood

Daf Yomi: Could Judaism ever go back to now-alien-seeming rituals from before the destruction of the Temple?

Good Jewish Fences Once Made Good Jewish Neighbors. Do They Still?

One of many ancient local customs analyzed in this week’s Talmud study is the habit of separating Jews from gentiles

Wayne Koestenbaum’s Seriously Campy, Anti-Dandy, Big Gay Collection of Essays

The virtuoso of queer theory’s rhetorically playful and nuanced prose on AIDS, Lana Turner, and the ‘imminence of nothingness’

Are American Jews Creating a New Jewishness, or Just Abandoning the Real Kind?

Most American Jews have effectively cast off rabbinic guidance. Would the Talmud’s rabbis have respected us for it, or disdained us?

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