In debating the principles of intentional sin, sages find that pleading ignorance is no defense, even if not all laws can be followed
By Adam Kirsch · May 6, 2014
Talmudic rabbis debate the paradoxical belief in Jewish chosenness despite the evidence of Jewish powerlessness
By Adam Kirsch · April 29, 2014
The apparent abstraction of Talmudic rulings, immune to the vagaries of history, are also a key to Jewish survival
By Adam Kirsch · April 8, 2014
In the Talmud, nostalgic, biblical, divine explanations override accurate secular history and chronology
By Adam Kirsch · April 1, 2014
To the Talmudic rabbis, religion was not opposed to the law but deeply connected to its study, even if dialogue wins over decree
By Adam Kirsch · March 25, 2014
For a hundred generations Jews lived in anticipation of redemption, a historical tension that continues to define Judaism
By Adam Kirsch · March 18, 2014
Why read the Talmud as a secular Jew? In part, for its expression of an independent Jewish creativity and spirituality.
By Adam Kirsch · March 11, 2014
The Talmud describes rabbis who were not just judges and legal analysts, but magicians as well
By Adam Kirsch · March 4, 2014
Books fraught with danger—curses, secrets, marvelous cures, diviners, demons—caused political intrigue and censorship
By J.H. Chajes · February 27, 2014
Ruth Calderon reimagines ancient tales, while Tova Hartman and Charlie Buckholtz examine characters in the margins
By Beth Kissileff · February 26, 2014
In staking claims about the validity of Jewish identity, the rabbis show that the Diaspora has existed for nearly as long as Judaism
By Adam Kirsch · February 25, 2014
Pi, irrational numbers, and squaring the circle are all brought to bear to find justifications for tradition
By Adam Kirsch · February 19, 2014
In dissenting opinions, Talmudic rabbis propose and debate every detail of Sukkot’s booth and, in so doing, measure God
By Adam Kirsch · February 11, 2014
Gender-typing is at work as early as daycare. A new book examines how this inequity plays out and undermines religious classrooms.
By Vox Tablet · February 10, 2014
The late author’s work was Talmudic in nature. That’s why his books made me miss the Jewish texts I’d left behind.
By Joseph Winkler · February 10, 2014
A holy desecration is unethical in part because of the social pressure to reflect well on the tribe
By Adam Kirsch · February 4, 2014
As a Hasidic girl, I was denied the chance to study Torah properly. Now I want my daughter to learn more than I did.
By Shaindy Urman · January 28, 2014
Manna, and fasting, are not just miracles of sustenance and faith, but also elements of jurisprudence
By Adam Kirsch · January 28, 2014
Meet the American-born JTS professor who modernized an ancient pursuit
By Shai Secunda · January 21, 2014
Illogical Jewish laws are ‘matters that Satan challenges’: raising doubts for enemies of Judaism and skeptical Jews
By Adam Kirsch · January 21, 2014
What happens when our libraries are purged from our homes, replacing spines with screens?
By Ann Marlowe · January 14, 2014
Judaism’s manual of sacred technology prizes holiness over beauty, action over thought, and ritual over belief
By Adam Kirsch · January 7, 2014
Biblical examples of righteousness and wickedness show that in Judaism, goodness remains possible and divine
By Adam Kirsch · December 24, 2013
A Talmudic problem: Abraham lived before the law was given, so how can his actions be used to interpret the law?
By Adam Kirsch · December 17, 2013
An ancient principle of Judaism, debated at length in the Oral Law, is that it is a sin to count Jews—or is it?
By Adam Kirsch · December 10, 2013