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Standing on One Foot

The origin of a famous anecdote shines light on the compromises of Conservative and Reform Judaism

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Light Advice From the Rabbis

A Talmudic discussion of Hanukkah and Sabbath candles leads to a lesson in the sacred and profane

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Of Lice and Men

Study of the Talmud’s second tractate reveals how the rabbis stuck to logic and made it sacred

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The Rabbis’ Mental World

The last chapter of the first tractate brings modern readers back to sex, bowel movements, and thunder

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Talmudic Pride and Prejudice

This week’s Daf Yomi considers—with Chaucerian verve—whether a rabbinic elite spoke for the Jewish people

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The Right Way to Pray

One Talmudic rabbi’s prayers work, while others’ fall on deaf ears. Is humility more pleasing to God than pomp?

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Talmudic Rebbe-llion

A coup at the rabbinic academy deposes Gamliel and unleashes a torrent of questions

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Let’s Get Physical

In this week’s Talmud reading, the soul addresses God, but the body has its own agenda

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Talmud’s Warriors and Scholars

This week’s Daf Yomi reframes the debate over the primacy of force or scholarship in Jewish values

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The Talmud’s Many Demons

Sages in a superstitious age accepted the existence of invisible devils and the use of magic to render them visible

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A Talmudic Journey Begins

Our book critic dives into Daf Yomi’s daily regimen expecting a law code, but instead finds a chain of questions

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Women Join Talmud Celebration

As the daf yomi cycle of Talmud learning concludes this week, a Jerusalem study group breaks a barrier

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Prize Fighters

Joseph Cedar’s Footnote pits a Talmudic scholar against his academic son in a tale equal parts midrash, riddle, and Israeli political tragedy

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Writing Footnote

Director Joseph Cedar on Orthodox Judaism, The Social Network, and the nightmare scenario behind his latest Academy Award-nominated film

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Be Happy

We’re commanded to be happy on Purim, and it turns out the acts required for proper observance—from donning costumes to celebrating with others—provide useful tricks for brightening moods year round

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Hasidic Women Train for Jobs

Recession leads to working women in Jerusalem

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