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David Shapiro’s Narrow Bridge

A descendant of the New York School brings cantorial poetics to his new collection, ‘In Memory of an Angel’

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How a Cucumber Decides Whether a Son Inherits Over a Donkey

With surprising analogous thinking, ancient Talmudic sages tackled very modern questions—by accident or foresight, depending on how liberal your views—of transgender rights, the rights of unborn fetuses, women’s rights, and wealth distribution

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An Old Jew Is on His Deathbed, and Says to His Son…

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ what’s right—and what’s legal—in matters of inheritance

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The Inheritance

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ one sage overrules the consensus, and men may dispose of their wealth upon their deathbeds at will

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The Talmud’s Hot Tub Time Machine

How Moses could know how his people’s story would end before it was even written is in keeping with the spirit of ‘Daf Yomi’

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All Shakshuk Up

Episode 90: Jack’s Wife Freda co-owner Maya Jankelowitz on bringing South African Israeli comfort food to New York City, and JTS professor Barry Holtz on Rabbi Akiva’s life and legacy

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Taking a ‘Sharp Knife’ to the Talmud

Daf Yomi: Interpreters of ancient Jewish law ‘often give the impression of doing whatever needs to be done to make the Bible mean what they want it to mean’

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Terms of Service

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ why the law is in the details

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Caveat Emptor

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages ask what it is safe to assume in matters of transactions within the law, and what must be specifically proven

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When You Buy a Cow (or a Boat) What Do You Get From the Seller? When Is It Yours? And What Really Is a Cow Anyway?

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study goes straight to the essence of the matter. Plus, ‘fish tales’ and 750-mile-high waves.

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The Art of the Deal

Talmudic rabbis regulated real estate transactions based on biblical principles of ownership and centuries of experience of the practicalities of Jewish life

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Why Jews Are Forbidden to Be Happy

Talmudic rabbis debate just how much of life should be forsaken as part of the Jewish responsibility to mourn for the past

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The Law of the Kingdom, or the Law of the Jews?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis debate whether Jews owe anything to gentiles, when it comes to property rights

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Does the Talmud Legalize Squatting?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ putting limits on property rights

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Daf Yomi: ‘Whoever Is Stronger Prevails’

Talmudic rabbis solve territorial disputes by giving the spoils to the victor

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If You’ll Buy That, the Rabbi’ll Throw the Golden Gate in Free

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study examines the origin of rules for real estate transactions

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Talmud to Betsy DeVos: Yes, We Need Public Schools

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ rabbinical thinking on the relationship of public goods and private obligations explains the advantages of universal education accessible to all

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The Babylonian Talmud Is Now Available Free Online in English and Hebrew

The non-profit Sefaria has fulfilled a dream that dates back to Albert Einstein

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Who Wrote the Torah?

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study dives into a foundational puzzle of the religion

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What the Talmud Says About Trump’s Border Wall, Paid For by Mexico

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ when it comes to privacy, good fences may indeed make good neighbors

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What the Rich Owe the Poor

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the deep Jewish roots of income equality, and the shared dignity it brings

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Reconciling Political Protest and the Day of Rest in the Era of Trump

The Torah and Talmud teach that speaking out against injustice is a fundamentally religious act

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The Talmud as Epic

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ brings to life rabbinic heroes on their intellectual battlefield: larger-than-life figures worthy of Greek drama

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The Maharal of Prague and the Republic of Letters

Science and humanism—and Jews and Christians—collide in early modern Europe

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The Jewish Jesus Story

In the mysterious and controversial ancient Hebrew text ‘Toledot Yeshu,’ a counterlife of the Nazarene ‘bastard, son of a menstruant’ that criticizes Jews as much as Christians

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Why the Talmud Allows Jews to Profit Off Gentiles

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, focusing on religious duty over secular egalitarianism

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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

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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

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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.

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Hunting for Deer—and Meaning

When I helped kill a deer for the first time, I turned to Jewish sages to help me understand my discomfort, and the ethics of the hunt

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