When is a tent just a tent and not like a bed or a hat? To update Jewish laws, the rabbis reasoned by analogy.
Why Ruth Calderon, a Talmud scholar and rookie politician, has a shot at breaking the Orthodox monopoly on Judaism
You wouldn’t expect that the tractate on Shabbat would be the place to discuss circumcision. You’d be wrong.
Talmudic rabbis debate the reach of permissions and prohibitions, and Jews are rewarded for virtuous behavior
As a doctor, I know there’s a power higher than me. That’s why I pray every day for the people I’m treating.
A partridge native to Yemen might go extinct. A rabbi is trying to save it, because he thinks it’s kosher.
The rabbis who reasoned about the day of rest also celebrated it. Plus: The Talmud on iPad and in translation.
Lionizing those who perform feats of memory and logic, who reason strictly from premise to conclusion
Studio G-dcast videos bring together animators and storytellers to put a modern spin on ancient Jewish texts
In this week’s page of Talmud, the rabbis show their skill at making distinctions between obligation and acting out
In order to understand Sabbath rules, the rabbis show, one must imagine exactly what work the Israelites did
This week, the rabbis ask if two half-sins equal a whole one. In what part of a sin is sinfulness located?
As we debate gun policy in the wake of Newtown, we should heed the wisdom of the Jewish sages
This week, the Talmud’s rabbis explore possible holy day violations to determine the nature of the sinner
In this week’s Talmud study, Jewishness is not just moral and theological matters. It is a way of life.
This week, Talmudic rabbis seek righteousness in the Bible’s tales of vice, weakness, and human frailty
This week, deduction and analogy propel the Talmud from the mundane to the miraculous
This week’s Talmud study reveals legal debates that refine the limits and nature of inherently abstract concepts
When new inventions made widespread sinning the norm, ancient rabbis adapted. The Talmud’s God approved.
The origin of a famous anecdote shines light on the compromises of Conservative and Reform Judaism
A Talmudic discussion of Hanukkah and Sabbath candles leads to a lesson in the sacred and profane
Study of the Talmud’s second tractate reveals how the rabbis stuck to logic and made it sacred
The last chapter of the first tractate brings modern readers back to sex, bowel movements, and thunder
The world’s most famous detective, returning to TV tonight, is the embodiment of the non-Jewish Jew
This week’s Daf Yomi considers—with Chaucerian verve—whether a rabbinic elite spoke for the Jewish people
One Talmudic rabbi’s prayers work, while others’ fall on deaf ears. Is humility more pleasing to God than pomp?
A coup at the rabbinic academy deposes Gamliel and unleashes a torrent of questions
Yoram Hazony’s new book bases Judaism on a naturalistic reading of the Bible, but it’s a stretch
In this week’s Talmud reading, the soul addresses God, but the body has its own agenda
This week’s Daf Yomi reframes the debate over the primacy of force or scholarship in Jewish values