In the Talmud, the Fall of a Priestly Upper Class Is Just Deserts

Biblical examples of righteousness and wickedness show that in Judaism, goodness remains possible and divine

Which Came First: Abraham and the Patriarchs or Moses and the Torah?

A Talmudic problem: Abraham lived before the law was given, so how can his actions be used to interpret the law?

What the Talmud Would Say About the Pew Survey of American Jews: Stop Counting

An ancient principle of Judaism, debated at length in the Oral Law, is that it is a sin to count Jews—or is it?

Miraculous Architecture of the First Temple Leads to Religious Sectarianism in the Second

To the Talmudic rabbis, a miracle is more plausible than the notion that their sources were incorrect

The Talmud’s Yom Kippur, With Sacrifice and Blood, Is Nothing Like Jewish Ritual Today

The rabbinic tradition arose from the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us what we need to know to lead our lives

There Are Thieves in the Temple. Or Are They Sacred Messengers?

Daf Yomi: The Talmud provides the Jewish version of well-known Christian gospel about money-changers

On the Origin of Passover’s Four Questions and the Renewal of Miracles

The Talmud is not a literary text, yet its role in maintaining the continuity of Jewish history is undeniable

Magical Thinking, Superstition, and Incantations in Jewish Oral Law

By elevating witches and demons to the level of gods, Talmudic rabbis diminished religious thought

When the Rabbis Got Together for Shabbat Dinner, Drama—and Law—Ensued

In the Talmud, examples of real-life rabbinic behavior and the intensely personal nature of lawmaking

When the Rabbis Do Things by the Book, They Give the Talmud Its ‘Talmudic’ Qualities

In this week’s Daf Yomi, deference, privilege, and the appearance of impropriety from the rabbis of ancient Jewish society

How the Talmud Has Bridged the Gaps Between Various Jewish Cultures for Ages

By imbuing even the most mundane things—like vinegar—with importance, the rabbis find proof of sacred history

In the Shadow of the Divine, Reaping Unintended Benefits at the Edges of the Law

Daf Yomi: A closer look at the Holy of Holies provides a fascinating illustration of how the rabbis of the Talmud read the Bible

Appreciating the Talmud’s Sublime Devotion to Torah for Its Own Sake

Daf Yomi: For the rabbis, trivial—even outdated or immaterial—problems can provide the best thought experiments

Math Lessons and Quantum Physics in Studies of Rabbinic Stringency and Leniency

Daf Yomi: For generations, Talmudic training has meant exercising the mind in logical thinking, not just learning laws

The Talmud’s Abstractions Live in Concrete Examples About Candles and Weasels

Daf Yomi: In textual analysis, the rabbis found biblical bases for customs and rituals that lacked them

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