Talmudic thinkers debate the ethics of winning God’s favor, and when a holy person can be too righteous
Talmudic rabbis debate Jewish solidarity in the face of misfortune, a communal imperative that still holds today
The Torah sages study and respond to natural phenomena in an effort to understand our place on Earth
Judaism became a religion of laws, haunted and bound by the absence of a home for Jewish sovereignty
Technical discussion about the shofar leads quickly to an examination of deep spiritual questions
Why gamblers, pigeon racers, and usurers can’t witness a Jewish new moon, and why the lunar calendar still matters
Talmudic rabbis set out to debate the religious calendar, and wind up talking about religious sincerity
In an effort to revitalize services, a New Jersey congregation includes its members’ memories in a new siddur
Why Talmud study is not reading, in the usual sense of the word, but rather deciphering the true meaning of the text
With great metaphysical creativity, Talmudic rabbis probe the exact limits of comparison and analogy
In debating the principles of intentional sin, sages find that pleading ignorance is no defense, even if not all laws can be followed
When our baby had heart surgery, my wife asked me to put on tefillin. I did, for the first time in years, but not the last.
Talmudic rabbis debate the paradoxical belief in Jewish chosenness despite the evidence of Jewish powerlessness
Every year, we sweep away crumbs from our cabinets. But we’re often afraid to sweep away stuff we’d be better off without.