Why the Sabbath Is Everything

This week, the Talmud’s rabbis explore possible holy day violations to determine the nature of the sinner

Does God Care About Shoes?

In this week’s Talmud study, Jewishness is not just moral and theological matters. It is a way of life.

Who’s Got Hanukkah Envy?

As the Festival of Lights gains exposure in schools, stores, and public displays, even non-Jews want to take part

The Badness of Good Stories

This week, Talmudic rabbis seek righteousness in the Bible’s tales of vice, weakness, and human frailty

Our Waterlogged Prayers

As we endure a season of destructive storms and surging seas, why on earth would we pray for rain?

The Power of Positive Thinking

This week, deduction and analogy propel the Talmud from the mundane to the miraculous

Eggs and Babies

This week’s Talmud study reveals legal debates that refine the limits and nature of inherently abstract concepts

First-Century Technology

When new inventions made widespread sinning the norm, ancient rabbis adapted. The Talmud’s God approved.

Standing on One Foot

The origin of a famous anecdote shines light on the compromises of Conservative and Reform Judaism

God Is My Traffic Cop

I keep getting messages from God about driving on the Sabbath, so I’m going give it up—for one Saturday

Light Advice From the Rabbis

A Talmudic discussion of Hanukkah and Sabbath candles leads to a lesson in the sacred and profane

Of Lice and Men

Study of the Talmud’s second tractate reveals how the rabbis stuck to logic and made it sacred

Burying a Man of Mystery

By giving a stranger a proper funeral, my community did a mitzvah. What if he wasn’t actually Jewish?

The Rabbis’ Mental World

The last chapter of the first tractate brings modern readers back to sex, bowel movements, and thunder

A Convert’s First Simchat Torah

When the holiday turned my synagogue into a chaotic nightclub, I finally felt like part of the Jewish community

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