Columnists

Literature — Adam Kirsch

When the Talmud Offers Close Readings of Sacred Fictions

Antic embellishments, like Esther being good in bed, help Talmudic rabbis to more fully explicate the text’s divine meaning

Marjorie Ingall

The First Kosher Comic Book Blazed a Trail for Orthodox Outreach

It wasn’t as big as Batman, but ‘Mendy and the Golem’ gave Jewish kids a taste of pop culture—with a rabbinical seal of approval

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Is the Book of Esther—a Story Told in Human Terms, Not Miracles—a Holy Book?

Talmudic rabbis, like us, can only study the course of history for the elusive signs of God’s intentions

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

What’s Wrong With Being Reasonable About the Middle East?

Nicholas Kristof’s totally reasonable, utterly delusional recipe for peace

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

Dawn of the Planet of Qasem Suleimani

In Hollywood’s twisted view of hardliners, lessons for our generals, diplomats, and politicians

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Why Early Jews Didn’t Care at All About Christians

In a struggle against the idea of history, Jewish life strives to change as little as possible, even when new religions take over

Marjorie Ingall

To Cut or Not To Cut: Finding Alternatives to Circumcision

New rituals create ways to symbolically acknowledge Jews’ covenant with God without actually circumcising infants

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

America Is the Arsonist of the Middle East

John Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Why Even the Greatest Rabbis Can’t Be Trusted

Talmudic thinkers debate the ethics of winning God’s favor, and when a holy person can be too righteous

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Better To Suffer or Better To Live? Eating—and Not Eating—as a Meritorious Jewish Act

Talmudic rabbis debate Jewish solidarity in the face of misfortune, a communal imperative that still holds today

Camp Offers Sick Jewish Children—and Their Families—a Vacation From Illness

For two weeks at Camp Simcha every summer, campers aren’t kids with cancer or kids with cerebral palsy. They’re just kids.

‘In the Beginning, the Brothers, They Told Me To Kill’

How did Mohamed Merah happen? In the third of a five-part series on anti-Semitism in France, the roots of the Toulouse gunman.

To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman

‘You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes’

Seven Days, Five Years

A week visiting my family in Israel

I Grew Up in Toronto, but You Can’t Tell From My Accent

I don’t talk like my fellow Torontonians because I was raised inside the ‘Bathurst Bubble,’ the city’s Jewish community

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