Header

Not in Heaven

Man’s authority to interpret the Torah in a ‘postmagical age’ is the subject of this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ rabbinical debate

Header

The Coin of the Realm

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the finer points of monetary transactions, and the attendant honesty ingrained in them

Header

Need a Reason to Hope This Campaign Season? Try the Timeless Talmud.

Can it get any worse? Yes, yes, it can, a lot worse, but the continuity of learning in the ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle has remained unbroken.

Header

Lost and Found

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the Talmud transforms absolute Torah commandments into contingent human laws, prizing practicality over literalism

Header

I Swear

A simple dispute over ownership leads the Talmudic sages into a debate, in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ about the value of a spiritual oath versus secular claims of honesty

Header

Jew vs. Non-Jew vs. Jew

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages attempt to deal with the risks inherent in communal loyalty taking precedence over common law and principled justice

Header

Smoothing the Path to a Sinner’s Repentance

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ ancient oral law makes it easier for thieves to regain spiritual balance with their victims—a reminder of the kinship of all Jews

Header

Thievery Corporation

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the theft of a pregnant cow leads the Talmudic sages to examine the concept of wages

Header

Is ‘An Eye for an Eye’ Really an Eye for an Eye?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis reinterpret a famous biblical verse to allow compassion to trump logic

Header

An Ox, a Donkey, a Sheep, and a Garment Walk Into a Bar…

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ dissecting the hermeneutics that governs the Talmud’s approach to law

Header

Law v. Lore

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ competing strands of legal wrangling and storytelling in the ancient compendium of Jewish thought

Header

Burden of Proof

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the rabbis spin out all the hypotheticals—and then some—from a few simple verses from Exodus about open pits and a goring ox to see who might be at fault when things go wrong

Header

Tied Up in Knots Over a Goring Ox

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud tries to make sense of an incoherent Biblical law about awarding damages

Header

One Law for Jews, Another Law for Gentiles

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ non-Jews are denied equal protection under the rules of the Talmud

Header

The Shock of Recognition

As the ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle returns to a familiar anecdote about a camel causing a fire, it reveals the Talmud’s complex web of interlaced elements as more than a compendium of laws

Header

Toward a Taxonomy of Damage

The Talmud is what happens when the laws of the Written Torah are not sufficiently broad or abstract to serve as the basis for a functioning legal system

Header

My Son the Doctor Has Chosen the Wrong Profession

So says the Talmud in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’—where rabbis call boys a blessing and daughters a necessary evil and blame their uncontrollable lust for actions befitting a rapist

Header

Know Your Place

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic scholars undermine the Jewish caste system

Header

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage, Go Together Like a—

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ reading, Talmudic debates over marriage contracts are often predicated on linguistic precision, not human needs

Header

The True Pleasure of the Talmud Is Its Intellectual Gamesmanship

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ reading, a pair of sages engage in a duel of the mind, posing, parrying, and riposting over hypothetical marriage and sexual scenarios

Header

Crime and Punishment and Punishment and Punishment

The Talmudic system of laws assumes the adherent is eager to learn how to follow God’s commandment, not why to follow it—and that he has faith in an otherworldly justice not necessarily reflected in this life

Header

Men: Thank God We’re Not Women!

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis have a hard time explaining gender differences in commandments and blessings, including whether women can shave their beards

Header

Honor Thy Mother and Father

Sure, fine, but what does that actually mean in practical everyday terms? This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study unpacks filial duty.

Header

By Talmudic law, Jewish Men Purchase Brides as They Would a Slave or a Piece of Real Estate

Sure, the woman consents, but the ‘specter of ownership’ hangs over the relationship. Plus: If you’re buying a woman, what is she actually worth in hard currency?

Header

On the Acquisition of Women

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis parse the betrothal of Jewish couples under the patriarchy. Plus: Is sex really sex if it doesn’t go all the way?

Header

Divorce Court

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages explore the grounds for divorce and in so doing reinforce ethical leniency and humane interpretation over strict constructionism

Header

The Talmud’s Inhumane View of Women Puts Unhappy Wives in Impossible Positions

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ reiterates a basic inequality in Jewish law: A man can divorce his wife, but a woman can’t divorce her husband

Header

The Finer Points of Talmudic Contract Law Contain Technicalities that Put Modern Legalese to Shame

(j) “Divorcée” means any of management and making of the initial term of the parties or other users or more MARRIAGES have no Dirvorce certificates (such trustee, herein shall be printed, lithographed or prior written application by Divorcée shall be valid or Assistant Treasurers or contribute to in bearer form of the last day on the Divorce Certificate evidencing the release of contract; second, that authorize the exercise of that any inconsistencies or will be in the Divorce Certificate only be withheld with the effectiveness of GET not be obligated to interpret and beyond that it were not inconsistent with respect to correct any ambiguity, or omitted by Section 4.2.

Header

The Talmud’s Demonology Resembles the Schlocky Inventiveness of ‘Dune’ or ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Infused with magic—and ritual designed to conjure or contain magic—Jewish oral law remains a mix of jurisprudence and poetry

Header

Finders Keepers, Inferior Land for Wedded Bliss, and Other Property Matters

‘Daf Yomi’ zig-zags from impure wine to the Talmud’s apocryphal reasoning for the destruction of the Temple

Load More...