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How Did Simchat Torah Get So Popular?

The festive holiday now overshadows Shemini Atzeret, which has biblical roots

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How a British Museum Curator Discovered Noah’s Ark Would Have Been Round

Irving Finkel, an expert on ancient Mesopotamia, decodes a Babylonian tablet and traces its path to the Book of Genesis

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Torah-Writing Robot Speeds Past Human Scribes

Jewish Museum Berlin displays device that flawlessly produces Torah scrolls

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1482 Torah Sold for Record $3.87 Million

The 15th-century chumash is most expensive Hebrew book ever sold

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The People of the Book vs. The People of the Kindle

What happens when our libraries are purged from our homes, replacing spines with screens?

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In the Talmud, Jews in Exile Are Considered Defenseless Before Their Enemies

Daf Yomi: The one protection God granted the Jews was to scatter them, so that no single enemy could destroy them all at once

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Reconciling Modern Biblical Scholarship With Traditional Orthodox Belief

Who wrote the Torah? An unlikely group of Orthodox scholars has launched a website that gets to the heart of Jewish tenets.

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In the Talmud, Minds Full of Torah Instead of Bowls Full of Sacrificial Blood

Daf Yomi: Could Judaism ever go back to now-alien-seeming rituals from before the destruction of the Temple?

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Robert Alter Wants Us To Think More Seriously About the Bible as Literature

The scholar, critic, and masterful translator remains dedicated to uncovering the full subtlety and intelligence of the stories in sacred texts

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Daybreak: World’s Oldest Torah Found in Italy

Plus an elucidating new report on the West Bank

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The Other Torah

A new English translation of the Samaritan Torah offers scholars a different version of the sacred text

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Why First Responders Are Jewish Heroes

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

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The Jewish View on Weapons

As we debate gun policy in the wake of Newtown, we should heed the wisdom of the Jewish sages

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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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A Different Voice

When a woman learns the art of Torah chanting, she realizes she is part of a new religious tradition—as well as a very old, sacred one

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Conservadox

Evonne Marzouk, the Orthodox co-founder of a Jewish environmental group, insists the Torah holds us responsible for the earth’s well-being

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‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ and the Fraud Charges

Menachem Youlus arrested for selling bogus rescued Torahs and pocketing the profits

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Scream Cycle

Forget the self-hating Jew; as everything from Internet comments to political speeches shows us, and as this week’s parasha reminds us, it’s the self-infatuated ones we need to look out for

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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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Be Happy

We’re commanded to be happy on Purim, and it turns out the acts required for proper observance—from donning costumes to celebrating with others—provide useful tricks for brightening moods year round

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Known and Unknown

Americans say that the Bible is central to them—a divine instruction manual for life on earth. How is it, then, a new book asks, that they know so little of it?

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Immersion

A newfound fascination with exploring her religion brought a somewhat reluctant joiner to Limmud NY, a frenzied three-day festival of Jewish thought. Here’s her diary.

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An Unmarried Woman

Alone among the Bible’s heroes, the prophet Devorah, my namesake and the hero of this week’s haftorah, didn’t need a man to make her complete. But what can a modern single woman learn from her?

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Sky Scrapers

Jacob’s ladder, the subject of this week’s parasha, is a lot like the great video game Minecraft

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As We See It

What Jacob—the hero of this week’s parasha—and the Tea Party can teach us about politics

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Roadside Rage

An anti-Arab attack in East Jerusalem, and this week’s parasha about Abraham in Sodom

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The Enabler

Stories of Abraham, the original outsider, and a young Israeli activist who followed his lead

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Safer Torah

An illustrated look at Torah theft and Torah protection

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Law Practice: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Jewish Law, and the Principle of Binding Precedent

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Jewish law, and the principle of binding precedent

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Save a Torah Controversy Prompts Deal

Nonprofit pledges stricter authentication standards