Adam Kirsch is a poet and literary critic, whose books include The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature.
Sholem Aleichem meets Tarantino in a new novel set in the Polish shtetl that blends feminism, Zionism, and sword fights
He was very sexual, deeply selfish, and content to be just that. It made for great writing, but at what cost?
Hillel Halkin’s lifetime of thinking about language, Zionism, and writing pays rich dividends in his ‘indispensable’ new collection of essays devoted to the writers who created modern Hebrew literature out of nothing
David Hopen’s ‘The Orchard,’ an audacious combination of ancient Jewish sources and Donna Tartt, points a way forward for Jewish American fiction
On the undignified end of the Arecibo Observatory and our search for the heavens
In an excerpt from his new book, ‘The Blessing and the Curse,’ Tablet’s literary critic looks at two young girls’ tragic and lively diaries, one universalist, which appeals to readers of every background, and one Zionist, with its Jewish specificity
In ‘The Death of Jesus,’ which closes a remarkable trilogy, the Nobel Prize-winning author recasts familiar parables, challenging the Western tradition to recognize its own demise
David Adjmi’s writerly new memoir, ‘Lot Six,’ vividly portrays his growing into a gay man in Syrian Jewish Brooklyn, and how the allure of changing roles brought him theatrical success
A slew of popularizing science books delve into the basic mismatch between being and human being
For ancient sages, ‘ritual impurity’ acted just like a modern virus
Tablet’s book critic suggests some ways to leaven your time indoors
A commentary on Karl Shapiro’s poem
Seven-and-a-half years, 2,711 pages, 288 columns, plus 2 podcasts, a camel on fire, a eunuch, bowls full of sacrificial blood, and an elephant that might be dead
What I took as a literary critic from the rich humanist landscape of page-a-day Talmud study. And a farewell.
As the seven-and-a-half-year cycle of page-a-day ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study comes to a close, the ancient rabbis discuss when adolescence ends and compare female sexual maturity to ripening figs
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate if a miscarriage causes religious impurity and discuss what to do when a woman discharges a fetus that resembles a fish
Finally, a potboiler religious action-thriller novel built around an ancient Jewish mystery, in Steven Pressfield’s ‘36 Righteous Men’
This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study explores the origins of sexual puritanism in the faith: why Jewish men can’t touch themselves even while urinating, how erections lead to idol worship, and how masturbation delays the arrival of the Messiah