Jewish Culture Was Not Always a Response to Non-Jewish Culture

Why read the Talmud as a secular Jew? In part, for its expression of an independent Jewish creativity and spirituality.

How a Purim Treat Turned Into a Purim Chore—and Finally a Source of Joy

We publish a comic holiday newsletter for our friends. Recently it started to feel like work, until I learned the meaning of ‘mitzvah.’

Narrating My Audiobook Helped Me Experience a Religious Epiphany

After reading my book out loud, I finally accepted the truth: I’m just not an oral tradition kind of guy

A Congregation Can Be Like a Family—for Better, and for Worse

I pray with angry, damaged, and difficult men. I stay because they’re like my brothers. And because sometimes they change.

How To Make Yemenite Chicken Soup, the Hot and Spicy Cure for the Common Cold

Video: Of course you love your grandmother’s matzo-ball soup. But try this recipe if you prefer something with a bit of a kick.

Rationalism, Mysticism, Slaves, and a Sukkah Made From an Elephant

The Talmud describes rabbis who were not just judges and legal analysts, but magicians as well

‘Tznius’ in Furs: What Judaism Has To Say About My Mink Coat

How can we square conspicuous extravagance with laws of modesty? What about Jewish laws about treating animals humanely?

The Invisible Synagogue: Facing Jewish History—and My Own—in Croatia

In her memoir ‘The Pat Boone Fan Club,’ Sue William Silverman recalls where she and her Christian boyfriend went their separate ways

Two Books Explore New Perspectives on the Talmud, With a Focus on Women

Ruth Calderon reimagines ancient tales, while Tova Hartman and Charlie Buckholtz examine characters in the margins

An Israeli Company Bets That Seaweed Isn’t Just for Sushi Anymore

It’s fresh, it’s nutritious, and it’s locally grown. But will anyone actually eat it instead of lettuce or spinach?

Man of Steel: How a Kosher Slaughterer Turned Knife-Making Into an Art

Rabbi Moshe Yurman is one of just three men in America making ritual knives for shochtim. You can guess what’s in his basement.

In the Talmud, Jews Losing Touch With the Everyday Words of the Holy Land

In staking claims about the validity of Jewish identity, the rabbis show that the Diaspora has existed for nearly as long as Judaism

Italy’s Only Female Rabbi Digs Up the Country’s Hidden Jewish Roots

Barbara Aiello has uncovered many Italians’ secret histories. But her methods and theories have won her many detractors.

Breast Cancer Survivor Michelle Arbel Helps Other Survivors Feel Whole Again

The Israeli entrepreneur’s prosthetic nipples allow women to regain confidence in their appearance and avoid additional surgery

In Saudi Arabia, a Muslim Call to Prayer Inspires Jewish Prayer—in Private

I had to lie about my religion to enter the kingdom on business, but I would continue to daven every morning in secret

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