In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, Jews may not realize the origins of a central idea of modern social justice
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ study, a premodern post-modern analysis of what exactly constitutes writing, in the physical act of making indelible marks on surfaces. Plus: Need to deliver a ‘get’ to your wife but out of paper? Talmud says: Write it on a slave!
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Talmudic rabbis think women are dangerous sex fiends who should avoid Torah study—and as a consequence prescribe humiliating guilty-until-proven-innocent public shaming ceremonies
A Magical Potion Reveals and Humiliates Sexually Unfaithful Women—and Shows Talmudic Rabbis Declaring One of Their Own Rituals Obsolete
Also in discussion during this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’: How long does the sex act take? As long as it takes to eat an egg, or to reach for a loaf of bread?
Decomposing Bodies, Congealing Carcasses, Handfuls of Corpse Dust, and Other Interests of the Rabbis
The Talmud’s obsessions are not necessarily our own, and in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the ancient wise men engage in theoretical debate over ritual impurity
An ancient story about an eager rabbi and a proud butcher offers a lesson in foreign policy
Bridging the abstract simplicity of divine pronouncements to the practical mess of everyday life
In rabbinic Judaism, learning replaces noble birth as a source of power and status—including the power to avoid state responsibility
Along with other questions of mind and body, this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ is also a field guide to Talmudic-era cuisine
This week’s Talmudic debate is centered on the perceived and real benefits of study, teaching, and sacrifice
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ study, why vows are hardly sacred, and why circumcision is the most glorious of rituals
Bridging the gap between biblical terseness and the needs of a functioning Jewish legal system
Why Talmudic law is precise, and how practical matters can test the moral foundations of the system