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Who Can Follow These Rules?

This week’s Talmud reading prompts strikingly contemporary questions about observance and belief

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Sitting Shiva for Smash

The show’s demise is a blow for musical theater—the art that incorporates virtually every other form of art

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The Irrelevance of Pleasure

As the rabbis remind us again this week, the law is the law—whether it pleases you or not

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Gatsby’s Jew

How will Baz Luhrmann’s film portray Meyer Wolfsheim, a 2-D figment in a 3-D extravaganza?

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The Golan Heights Chimera

How Israel’s annexation* of the contested border region continues to keep the peace

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The Good Murdoch

Media magnate Axel Springer’s significant, and unheralded, role in repairing German-Jewish relations

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How To Make the Ultimate Blintzes

Video: Cook up delicious cheese-filled crepes from scratch—the perfect dairy recipe for Shavuot

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The Woman Behind the Dolls

Madame Alexander launched her iconic doll company 90 years ago—decades before Barbie was born

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You Only Live Once

The Talmudic rabbis saw the world as a wedding—a place of charity and pleasures to be enjoyed while it lasts

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The Netherlands’ Jewish Mother

Beatrix abdicated so she could usher in a new era—of heads of state who have never experienced war

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The Tsarnaevs’ Facilitators

Who inspired the alleged Boston marathon bombers to find meaning in the most violent forms of madness?

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The Talmud’s Absolute Value

Through reasoning, the rabbis brought all of natural creation under the rule of law

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Hating Gwyneth Paltrow

You may think you know where this column is going. You’d be wrong.

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The Real Threat to America

Putting ourselves in political, moral, and now actual lockdown is more threatening than Islamic terrorism

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When Messiah Is an Afterthought

The Talmud’s pragmatism and wonder meet in a technical problem about the height of a boundary line

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Turning a Page for the Blind

JBI International’s Braille materials and audiobooks help blind Jews stay connected to the community

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Crossing the Line

By avoiding authoritative rulings in favor of nuanced debate with the ideas of the past, the Oral Law refuses to simplify

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Mad Mensches

Another Tattler prediction come true: AMC’s 1960s New York drama series returns—full of ascendant Jews

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WikiLeaks’ Insight Into Arafat

The State Department cables show that the Palestinian leader was a key asset to the U.S. during the Kissinger years

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Are Truffles Food?

As our Talmud column returns, debates over Oral Law range from the existential to the mundane

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Paying Our Fair Share: Explaining Taxes to Kids

As we rush to file our taxes, parents should take a moment to teach kids about money—and Jewish ethics

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The Weak Link in the Iran Fight

A scary incident in Austria shows that in the standoff against Iran, Europe is not standing up to the mullahs

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Why Is This Knight Different?

As HBO’s medieval fantasy Game of Thrones returns, imagining a Jewish version of the Seven Kingdoms

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Being the Jew in the Box

To have conversations with Germans about Jews, I had to become an exhibition at Berlin’s Jewish Museum

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The Chosen Facial Hair

Beards are having their pop cultural moment, but Jews have always known the value of a furry face

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Phil Spector’s Pound of Flesh

Al Pacino channels a Shakespearean tragic hero in David Mamet’s new HBO film

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How To Make the Ultimate Matzo-Ball Soup

Video: Make perfect chicken soup and matzo balls from scratch—just in time for Passover

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Imagining the Obama-Bibi Gabfest

Three subjects—Iran, the Palestinians, and Syria—will surely be the subject of tonight’s dinner in Jerusalem

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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

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No Place Like Home

The new Disney Oz flick stars Jewish actors. Somewhere, over the rainbow, that will no longer matter.

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