In debating the principles of intentional sin, sages find that pleading ignorance is no defense, even if not all laws can be followed
Talmudic rabbis debate the paradoxical belief in Jewish chosenness despite the evidence of Jewish powerlessness
The apparent abstraction of Talmudic rulings, immune to the vagaries of history, are also a key to Jewish survival
In the Talmud, nostalgic, biblical, divine explanations override accurate secular history and chronology
To the Talmudic rabbis, religion was not opposed to the law but deeply connected to its study, even if dialogue wins over decree
For a hundred generations Jews lived in anticipation of redemption, a historical tension that continues to define Judaism
Why read the Talmud as a secular Jew? In part, for its expression of an independent Jewish creativity and spirituality.
The Talmud describes rabbis who were not just judges and legal analysts, but magicians as well
Books fraught with danger—curses, secrets, marvelous cures, diviners, demons—caused political intrigue and censorship
Ruth Calderon reimagines ancient tales, while Tova Hartman and Charlie Buckholtz examine characters in the margins
In staking claims about the validity of Jewish identity, the rabbis show that the Diaspora has existed for nearly as long as Judaism
Pi, irrational numbers, and squaring the circle are all brought to bear to find justifications for tradition
In dissenting opinions, Talmudic rabbis propose and debate every detail of Sukkot’s booth and, in so doing, measure God
Gender-typing is at work as early as daycare. A new book examines how this inequity plays out and undermines religious classrooms.