Magical Thinking, Superstition, and Incantations in Jewish Oral Law

By elevating witches and demons to the level of gods, Talmudic rabbis diminished religious thought

How Praying Together Can Offer Hope—Even When Prayers Aren’t Answered

Every night, I took part in a prayer group to help a sick child and her family. But I’m the one who ended up transformed.

When the Rabbis Got Together for Shabbat Dinner, Drama—and Law—Ensued

In the Talmud, examples of real-life rabbinic behavior and the intensely personal nature of lawmaking

We No Longer Live in the World of Talmudic Rabbis. What’s a Modern Jew to Do?

In the Bible, the rabbis had the most accurate possible description of the world—a flawed and limited cosmology

Remember the Often Invisible Non-Jews Who Help the Jewish World Function

We tend to overlook the gentiles who keep synagogues running. As we begin the Torah anew, let’s acknowledge our debt to them.

In the Talmud, Jews in Exile Are Considered Defenseless Before Their Enemies

Daf Yomi: The one protection God granted the Jews was to scatter them, so that no single enemy could destroy them all at once

Reconciling Modern Biblical Scholarship With Traditional Orthodox Belief

Who wrote the Torah? An unlikely group of Orthodox scholars has launched a website that gets to the heart of Jewish tenets.

My Grandfather Collected Etrogs—To Be Passed Down to Future Generations

More than an ephemeral part of Sukkot observance, the fruit also symbolizes the commitment of one generation to the next

When the Rabbis Do Things by the Book, They Give the Talmud Its ‘Talmudic’ Qualities

In this week’s Daf Yomi, deference, privilege, and the appearance of impropriety from the rabbis of ancient Jewish society

Kol Nidre Showed Me What It Means To Truly Belong in the Jewish Community

The Yom Kippur prayer unites everyone who hears it. Twenty-five years after I converted, it still gives me goose bumps.

Worshippers, a Love Story: Understanding the Jewish People’s Relationship to God

As we contemplate our connection to the Divine on the High Holidays, we should recall the reciprocal love at the heart of Judaism

Learning Judaism as a Native Language Requires More Than Synagogue Once a Year

Becoming fluent in your own religious tradition is like playing an instrument or a sport: It takes time, dedication, and practice.

In the Story of Jonah, an Urgent Lesson About the Dangers of Solitary Confinement

Isolation didn’t help Jonah find redemption inside the whale. It isn’t helping thousands of American prisoners today, either.

When Talmud Is the Focus of Jewish Observance, Theology Comes to Life

Instead of asking us to passively agree with the rabbis, oral law engages the intellect in concrete problems of logic and interpretation

Need a Reason to Repent? The Answer—No Matter Who You Are—Can Be Found Here

The poem ‘Unetaneh Tokef’ reminds us that we can change our own character, even if we cannot completely control our future

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