In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis imagine a situation involving a weasel, a cow’s womb, a fetus, vomit, and a firstborn calf. Naturally.
‘Daf Yomi’: To avoid conflicts of interest, Talmudic rabbis put limits on their own authority over kosher slaughter
In a landmark new translation, Robert Alter revives the literary power of a Hebrew masterpiece
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ why a Jew may not sacrifice an animal in such a way that its blood flows into the ocean, and other rules protecting worshippers from the limits of paganism
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud reiterates how intention defines human acts. Plus: Does a dropped blade accidentally decapitating an animal count as ritual slaughter?
A boxed set for the writer’s centenary confirms him as the master of possibility
For Amos Oz, the real Israel was cherishable precisely because it was not a high ideal but a fact achieved only by labor and compromise
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ intentionality and human agency remain at the heart of Jewish law. Plus: the difference between a pagan and a heretic.
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate who is free to butcher animals piously according to Jewish ritual. Plus: the one transgression that is unforgivable under the Torah.
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis ask if it is possible to do service to the true God in the wrong location
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud is ‘a kind of speculative historical fiction’ about Temple rituals
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic scholars grapple with the number of sacrificial measuring cups in the First Temple
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, discussion of proper meal offerings displays the circularity and uncertainty of rituals recreated from a destroyed culture
A first English translation of the great Italian Jewish author’s single-volume compendium of tales of Ferrara reminds us of the power of his ghosts
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis—debating the origins of the omer—explore the sanctity of different forms of wheat. Plus: Can seeds found in elephant dung be made clean by replanting?
‘Daf Yomi’: Are Jews like olives, crushed for their oil, or like the leaves on the olive branch, enduring through all seasons?
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, two schools of biblical thought diverge over the ritual clothing fringes. Plus: Does a dead man get to wear tzitzit?
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, why even the crowns of Hebrew letters matter. Plus: The biblical Moses is relegated to the eighth row of a rabbi’s class, for not understanding the lesson.
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis debate the use of the flavor-enhancing mineral in sacrificial offerings. Plus: Why wood needs to be sprinkled with salt before it is burned—over wood.
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis search the mists of time to try to recover which hand is to be used in the rituals of sacrifice and offering
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ one rabbi finds a way out of a complex problem with meal offerings other rabbis created
‘Daf Yomi:’ How modern Jews misinterpret another key philosophical phrase, and why religious fanatics will find no Talmudic argument in support of their dream of building a Third Temple on the mount
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis raise contradictions in the rules governing ritual purity, ‘acute mourning,’ and imperfections in the priesthood
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis decide how to clean the garments used in ritual slaughter (using urine). Also: When is a garment just a cloth?
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis determine the finer points of animal sacrifice and follow their logical reasoning to the limits of the absurd
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis continue their investigations into sacrificial offerings and remain dispassionate in their analysis of sexual sins. Plus: the origin of the word ‘treyf.’
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis try to establish the rules governing ritual slaughter of feathered offerings
‘Rooted Cosmpolitans’ traces how the fight over human rights remains a struggle over Jewish identity and destiny
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ ancient Talmudic rabbis look for the First and Second Temples without stones or relics to guide them
Daf Yomi: Talmudic rabbis, as distant from the original animal sacrifices as we are from the Civil War, try to piece together a layout that matches the Torah