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Why the Sabbath Is Everything

This week, the Talmud’s rabbis explore possible holy day violations to determine the nature of the sinner

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Does God Care About Shoes?

In this week’s Talmud study, Jewishness is not just moral and theological matters. It is a way of life.

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The Badness of Good Stories

This week, Talmudic rabbis seek righteousness in the Bible’s tales of vice, weakness, and human frailty

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The Power of Positive Thinking

This week, deduction and analogy propel the Talmud from the mundane to the miraculous

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Eggs and Babies

This week’s Talmud study reveals legal debates that refine the limits and nature of inherently abstract concepts

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First-Century Technology

When new inventions made widespread sinning the norm, ancient rabbis adapted. The Talmud’s God approved.

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Standing on One Foot

The origin of a famous anecdote shines light on the compromises of Conservative and Reform Judaism

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Light Advice From the Rabbis

A Talmudic discussion of Hanukkah and Sabbath candles leads to a lesson in the sacred and profane

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Of Lice and Men

Study of the Talmud’s second tractate reveals how the rabbis stuck to logic and made it sacred

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The Rabbis’ Mental World

The last chapter of the first tractate brings modern readers back to sex, bowel movements, and thunder

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The Jewish Sherlock Holmes

The world’s most famous detective, returning to TV tonight, is the embodiment of the non-Jewish Jew

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Talmudic Pride and Prejudice

This week’s Daf Yomi considers—with Chaucerian verve—whether a rabbinic elite spoke for the Jewish people

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The Right Way to Pray

One Talmudic rabbi’s prayers work, while others’ fall on deaf ears. Is humility more pleasing to God than pomp?

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Talmudic Rebbe-llion

A coup at the rabbinic academy deposes Gamliel and unleashes a torrent of questions

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Judaism’s Central Sacrifice

Yoram Hazony’s new book bases Judaism on a naturalistic reading of the Bible, but it’s a stretch

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Let’s Get Physical

In this week’s Talmud reading, the soul addresses God, but the body has its own agenda

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Talmud’s Warriors and Scholars

This week’s Daf Yomi reframes the debate over the primacy of force or scholarship in Jewish values

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The Talmud’s Many Demons

Sages in a superstitious age accepted the existence of invisible devils and the use of magic to render them visible

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A Talmudic Journey Begins

Our book critic dives into Daf Yomi’s daily regimen expecting a law code, but instead finds a chain of questions

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Women Join Talmud Celebration

As the daf yomi cycle of Talmud learning concludes this week, a Jerusalem study group breaks a barrier

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My Father and the Talmud

I idolized my dad and resented him. As I’ve untangled our relationship, I adopted his passion: Talmud study

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Sundown: Romney and the Jewish Vote

Plus the problem with the new Arabic Talmud, and more

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A Motley Minyan

They’re frustrating, and sometimes broken, but the men in my shul make services divine

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Cracking the Computer Code

Few people know the programming languages like Java and Ruby that run the modern world. The People of the Book should fight against this illiteracy.

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New Republic

I grew up in a world of observance, separate from secular America, but soon realized that the borders are more porous than they seem

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Greedo Is a Rodef

Comment of the Week

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‘Talmud, Index of’

Why 2011 brings history’s first complete register of the body of Jewish law

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Misjudged

Sixty years ago, I committed a small act of injustice against someone whose name I never knew. This Yom Kippur, I can finally set the record straight.

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Found in Translation

Scholar Adin Steinsaltz discusses his recently completed edition of the Talmud, why the Internet is better than TV, and the prospect of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Elvis playing cards together

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About Time: How Early Modern European Calendars Changed Jewish Conceptions of Time

A vivid new scholarly book illuminates how the calendars of early modern Europe—playful, alive, and beautifully designed—reflected and transformed Jewish conceptions of time

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