You Only Live Once

The Talmudic rabbis saw the world as a wedding—a place of charity and pleasures to be enjoyed while it lasts

The Talmud’s Absolute Value

Through reasoning, the rabbis brought all of natural creation under the rule of law

When Messiah Is an Afterthought

The Talmud’s pragmatism and wonder meet in a technical problem about the height of a boundary line

Ryan Lochte’s Talmud Lesson

The Talmud tells parents to teach our kids to swim. The Olympic champ and reality TV star makes that easier.

Video: Ruth Calderon Calls Out Bigotry

Condemns anti-Arab racism and homophobia at controversial religious Zionist conference

Why First Responders Are Jewish Heroes

Those who ran to help in Boston embody the ideal of ‘walking in God’s ways’

Crossing the Line

By avoiding authoritative rulings in favor of nuanced debate with the ideas of the past, the Oral Law refuses to simplify

Are Truffles Food?

As our Talmud column returns, debates over Oral Law range from the existential to the mundane

Can Boundaries Cause Unity?

Two exhibits ask whether eruvs speak to our essential beings or just replicate the conditions of our wanderings

Close Encounters With Talmud

Seven months into a seven-and-a-half-year study cycle, book critic Adam Kirsch is hookedand flummoxed

The Shining Is About What?

Room 237 uses Talmudic exegesis to uncover whether Kubrick’s film is about Indians, the Holocaust, or bears

Navigating the Talmud’s Alleys

The range of problems and the variety of answers in the study of Oral Law lead to new pathways of reasoning

Written in the Stars (Or Not)

To overcome fated lives, the Talmud’s rabbis argued, perform virtuous acts according to Torah

Leave the Jewish People Alone

Rabbis left enforcement of their Talmudic decrees to communal standards and voluntary commitment

Ancient Laws for Modern Times

When is a tent just a tent and not like a bed or a hat? To update Jewish laws, the rabbis reasoned by analogy.

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