Can’t Touch This

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

Iran To Investigate JCC Bombing

Why is Argentina letting Iran examine the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, a crime Hezbollah surely committed?

Queen for a Day

The rabbis who reasoned about the day of rest also celebrated it. Plus: The Talmud on iPad and in translation.

Cissy Houston’s Hate—and Ours

Whitney’s mother to Oprah: Gay is not OK. Is her prejudice any different from ours against intermarriage?

Eisenhower’s New Fans

Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel look to the 34th president as a foreign-affairs model. But is it a willful misreading?

Rabbinic Mind Games

Lionizing those who perform feats of memory and logic, who reason strictly from premise to conclusion

Life of the Party

The host of Obama’s second inaugural party, Sen. Charles Schumer, is America’s lovable Jewish Uncle Leo

My Son’s First Election

My 7-year-old told me to vote for the party that ‘gives the most peace,’ but there were none on offer in Israel’s election

Things Broken and Repaired

In this week’s page of Talmud, the rabbis show their skill at making distinctions between obligation and acting out

The Torah of Food

For Tu B’Shevat, a cooking class creates a perfect opportunity to teach children about Jewish values

Hollywood’s New Shoah

The Golden Globes and Oscars reward Lincoln and Django. Are slavery movies the new Holocaust flicks?

Parents, Mind Your Manners

It’s hard to teach kids etiquette when adults behave badly. So put down your smartphone and pay attention.

The Pretenders

In order to understand Sabbath rules, the rabbis show, one must imagine exactly what work the Israelites did

Downton’s Missing Jews

The hit period-specific PBS drama glosses over a crucial detail of 1920s England: anti-Semitism

Intention Versus Action

This week, the rabbis ask if two half-sins equal a whole one. In what part of a sin is sinfulness located?

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