Columnists

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

The Godfather’s Guide to the Middle East

Everything you need to know about world turmoil today—from Obama to Assad to ISIS—is in the ethos of the Corleone family

Literature — Adam Kirsch

The Talmud’s Mysticism Is Too Mindblowing Even for Its Students

Tread carefully, the rabbis warn, when seeking to understand creation or envision God

Food — Joan Nathan

How To Make Gefilte Fish That Your Guests Will Actually Want To Eat

Video: Throw away your jars of gray fish patties. This Rosh Hashanah, make a terrine that’ll have doubters asking for seconds.

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

How Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk Cashed a Big, Fat $14.8 Million Check From Qatar

One Middle Eastern nation does indeed pay to influence U.S. foreign policy. Hint: It’s not Israel.

Literature — Adam Kirsch

If Even the Angel of Death Makes Mistakes, Where Is There True Justice?

The Talmud imagines the world as organized for the benefit of Torah sages, even in matters of sex and death

Marjorie Ingall

Anxiously Sending Little Jews to School

For the first time, I’m concerned about my kids’ Jewishness as I send them off in the morning

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Rules for Hair Cutting and Rending Garments—and Exceptions for Newborns

Daf Yomi: The Talmud’s ruling principle is that there is always a correct course of action, since God is watching

Marjorie Ingall

Jewy Books: Including Jewish Characters Doesn’t Have To Be a Big Deal Anymore

Today’s young-adult literature is full of teenagers for whom being Jewish isn’t a Very Important Issue

Literature — Adam Kirsch

In the Days Between the Major Holidays, Little Clues to Jewish Ritual and Life

Talmudic rabbis debate professional eulogizers, trying to strike a balance between the holy and the mundane

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Are Jews Meant To Be Farmers, Workers, or Thinkers?

So much of the Talmud is about working the land, and the rules that govern labor, profit, and loss

Naomi Klein Wants To Save the Environment and Overthrow Capitalism All in One Book

‘This Changes Everything’ is great, except for the parts that don’t add up

It’s Never Too Late To Atone

Even if the person you wronged doesn’t remember what you did, it can still make a difference to ask for forgiveness. Maybe.

What Happens When Agnon and Appelfeld Speak Like Faulkner and Hemingway?

A veteran practitioner of the art of translation considers the challenges—and successes—of Hebrew literature

How Time’s Arrow and the Phrygian Half-Step Make Jewish Music Holy

For centuries, Western classical music propelled listeners toward Christian salvation. Then Jewish music changed everything.

Why I Stopped Saying the Unetaneh Tokef, and Why I’m Ready To Say It Again

After my mother died, I couldn’t recite the High Holiday prayer anymore—until I gained a new understanding of its words

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