Talmudic rabbis are less interested in mystical speculation than in concrete questions, like the state of women’s hymens
The ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle heads into thorny gender issues around marriage, gynecology, and Sabbath sex
What the burning of a Jordanian pilot reveals about Obama’s flawed Middle East game
Who else can step up and rescue the faith from the fanatics who’ve hijacked it?
Talmudic rabbis ask what agency young women have in determining their fate in sex, marriage, and divorce
This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ probes the connection between the magical thinking of the Bible and the rational concerns of the Talmud
Talmudic rabbis, gladiators of the mind, sought glory and eternal fame—but also pondered the mundane side of being human
Talmudic sages say that sinful acts—especially those committed by women—are not the rabbis’ fault
Jewish law loves to separate people into airtight categories. Real-life sex and gender are more complicated. What then?
And other problems of divorce, infertility, and urination, in this week’s Talmud study
In the patriarchal society of the Talmud, a woman’s body is always under the supervision and scrutiny of men
This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study is NSFW
Plus legitimate and bastard offspring, slaves, and distinctions between Jews, non-Jews, and half-Jews
Video: Make a traditional American holiday feast, with a recipe for stuffing that brings Jewish flavors to the table
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ questions of obligation in matters of levirate marriage, and how values change with time
The fashion designer’s name-dropping autobiography ‘The Woman I Wanted to Be’ is fascinating, inspiring, and troubling
By boasting of enabling Iran’s bloody nuclear hopes, the Obama administration ushers in the age of Renfield and Dracula
Talmudic Rabbis regulated not just actions but reputations, and left a legacy we debate and refute to this day
At what point does a disagreement between groups of Jews become a point of religious principle, which cannot be compromised?
Daf Yomi: In rabbinic Judaism, study is not merely a pragmatic enterprise, but a religious act in itself
When two mitzvot conflict, the Talmud asks, how do we decide which takes precedence?
Two years and 100 columns in to the Daf Yomi cycle, our critic pauses to reflect on its intellectual challenges and delights