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The Talmud’s Difficulty Is What Makes the Talmud ‘Talmudic’—And Unlike the Law

Daf Yomi: In rabbinic Judaism, study is not merely a pragmatic enterprise, but a religious act in itself

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Sex With Your Uncle? OK. Sex With Your Widowed Daughter’s Rival? Not OK.

When two mitzvot conflict, the Talmud asks, how do we decide which takes precedence?

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The Study of Law as a Spiritual Act: Finding Truth and Meaning in the Talmud

Two years and 100 columns in to the Daf Yomi cycle, our critic pauses to reflect on its intellectual challenges and delights

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How To Say You’re Sorry

As Yom Kippur approaches, I’ll share what I’ve learned about how to apologize—and how not to

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The Godfather’s Guide to the Middle East

Everything you need to know about world turmoil today—from Obama to Assad to ISIS—is in the ethos of the Corleone family

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The Talmud’s Mysticism Is Too Mindblowing Even for Its Students

Tread carefully, the rabbis warn, when seeking to understand creation or envision God

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How To Make Gefilte Fish That Your Guests Will Actually Want To Eat

Video: Throw away your jars of gray fish patties. This Rosh Hashanah, make a terrine that’ll have doubters asking for seconds.

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How Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk Cashed a Big, Fat $14.8 Million Check From Qatar

One Middle Eastern nation does indeed pay to influence U.S. foreign policy. Hint: It’s not Israel.

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If Even the Angel of Death Makes Mistakes, Where Is There True Justice?

The Talmud imagines the world as organized for the benefit of Torah sages, even in matters of sex and death

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Anxiously Sending Little Jews to School

For the first time, I’m concerned about my kids’ Jewishness as I send them off in the morning

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Rules for Hair Cutting and Rending Garments—and Exceptions for Newborns

Daf Yomi: The Talmud’s ruling principle is that there is always a correct course of action, since God is watching

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Jewy Books: Including Jewish Characters Doesn’t Have To Be a Big Deal Anymore

Today’s young-adult literature is full of teenagers for whom being Jewish isn’t a Very Important Issue

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In the Days Between the Major Holidays, Little Clues to Jewish Ritual and Life

Talmudic rabbis debate professional eulogizers, trying to strike a balance between the holy and the mundane

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Are Jews Meant To Be Farmers, Workers, or Thinkers?

So much of the Talmud is about working the land, and the rules that govern labor, profit, and loss

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Amal Alamuddin, Please Put George Clooney on Hold, and Investigate War Crimes in Gaza

How the international human rights lawyer could help save Gaza and Lebanon

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How Can We Respect Both the Sanctity of Jewish Things and the Practical Needs of the Jews?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate the value of recycling, upselling, renovation, and sacred trash

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American Jews Speak English, but Our Sacred Texts Are in Hebrew

What happens when the most authoritative guardians of the tradition are sometimes baffled by the tradition themselves?

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How To Turn Tomatoes Into an Italian Treat That Tastes Like Candy

Roman Jews have had a long love affair with tomatoes. This recipe for oven-browned ‘pomodori a mezzo’ will show you why.

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John Kerry Has Hamas’ Back: So, Who Has Israel’s?

AIPAC, the so-called Jewish Lobby, has no influence in the White House and is scared to speak out

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When the Talmud Offers Close Readings of Sacred Fictions

Antic embellishments, like Esther being good in bed, help Talmudic rabbis to more fully explicate the text’s divine meaning

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The First Kosher Comic Book Blazed a Trail for Orthodox Outreach

It wasn’t as big as Batman, but ‘Mendy and the Golem’ gave Jewish kids a taste of pop culture—with a rabbinical seal of approval

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Is the Book of Esther—a Story Told in Human Terms, Not Miracles—a Holy Book?

Talmudic rabbis, like us, can only study the course of history for the elusive signs of God’s intentions

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What’s Wrong With Being Reasonable About the Middle East?

Nicholas Kristof’s totally reasonable, utterly delusional recipe for peace

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Dawn of the Planet of Qasem Suleimani

In Hollywood’s twisted view of hardliners, lessons for our generals, diplomats, and politicians

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Why Early Jews Didn’t Care at All About Christians

In a struggle against the idea of history, Jewish life strives to change as little as possible, even when new religions take over

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To Cut or Not To Cut: Finding Alternatives to Circumcision

New rituals create ways to symbolically acknowledge Jews’ covenant with God without actually circumcising infants

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America Is the Arsonist of the Middle East

John Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians

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Why Even the Greatest Rabbis Can’t Be Trusted

Talmudic thinkers debate the ethics of winning God’s favor, and when a holy person can be too righteous

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Better To Suffer or Better To Live? Eating—and Not Eating—as a Meritorious Jewish Act

Talmudic rabbis debate Jewish solidarity in the face of misfortune, a communal imperative that still holds today

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In the Middle East, Modernity Comes From the Barrel of a Gun. Or a Laptop.

A Unit 8200 networking event in Tel Aviv shows why Israel has won and the Arabs have lost

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