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.

Monster Mash

Helene Wecker’s new The Golem and the Jinni reads like When Harry Met Sally, if Harry and Sally were beasts

When Messiah Is an Afterthought

The Talmud’s pragmatism and wonder meet in a technical problem about the height of a boundary line

Crossing the Line

By avoiding authoritative rulings in favor of nuanced debate with the ideas of the past, the Oral Law refuses to simplify

Crimson-Blooded Americans

In André Aciman’s new Harvard Square, an Egyptian-born Jew and a Tunisian Muslim meet their limits

Are Truffles Food?

As our Talmud column returns, debates over Oral Law range from the existential to the mundane

A.B. Yehoshua’s Many Ghosts

The writer’s new novel, The Retrospective, is a surreal study of the contested sources of Israeli identity

Navigating the Talmud’s Alleys

The range of problems and the variety of answers in the study of Oral Law lead to new pathways of reasoning

Written in the Stars (Or Not)

To overcome fated lives, the Talmud’s rabbis argued, perform virtuous acts according to Torah

Leave the Jewish People Alone

Rabbis left enforcement of their Talmudic decrees to communal standards and voluntary commitment

Ancient Laws for Modern Times

When is a tent just a tent and not like a bed or a hat? To update Jewish laws, the rabbis reasoned by analogy.

Elements of Stille

Alexander Stille never stopped investigating his parents, as shown by his new memoir about his World War II heritage

Birth Right

You wouldn’t expect that the tractate on Shabbat would be the place to discuss circumcision. You’d be wrong.

A World Without Jews

An exhilarating new intellectual history argues that anti-Judaism is at the heart of Western culture

Can’t Touch This

Talmudic rabbis debate the reach of permissions and prohibitions, and Jews are rewarded for virtuous behavior

Surrender or Die

A gripping new history of Flavius Josephus portrays a Roman Jewish writer forever wrestling with his identity

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.