Do We Still Need Yom HaShoah?

The commemorative day is confusing and arbitrary. Let’s find a more meaningful alternative.

Close Encounters With Talmud

Seven months into a seven-and-a-half-year study cycle, book critic Adam Kirsch is hookedand flummoxed

What’s the Point of Passover?

Do today’s Seders exist to remember the past, or did past events occur so that they could be remembered later?

Navigating the Talmud’s Alleys

The range of problems and the variety of answers in the study of Oral Law lead to new pathways of reasoning

Written in the Stars (Or Not)

To overcome fated lives, the Talmud’s rabbis argued, perform virtuous acts according to Torah

Gay Synagogues’ Uncertain Future

As mainstream acceptance grows—along with membership—gay congregations face unexpected questions

Leviticus, the Video Game

A new iPhone game turns the Bible’s most detailed book into fast-paced, educational entertainment

An Atheist’s Synagogue Search

In a congregation that didn’t focus on God, I discovered the value of reciting prayers I don’t believe

Leave the Jewish People Alone

Rabbis left enforcement of their Talmudic decrees to communal standards and voluntary commitment

Ancient Laws for Modern Times

When is a tent just a tent and not like a bed or a hat? To update Jewish laws, the rabbis reasoned by analogy.

A Very Modern Purimspiel

Stories about hidden identity, vegetarianism, and getting plastered, from four young comedy writers

Purim Gets Naughty

Women’s Purim costumes have gotten skimpier and sexier. I tried to buck the trend, but it didn’t go well.

Birth Right

You wouldn’t expect that the tractate on Shabbat would be the place to discuss circumcision. You’d be wrong.

Can’t Touch This

Talmudic rabbis debate the reach of permissions and prohibitions, and Jews are rewarded for virtuous behavior

Praying for My Patients

As a doctor, I know there’s a power higher than me. That’s why I pray every day for the people I’m treating.

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