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
Parshat Teruma: The beauty of a communal spiritual home makes it easier for some people to feel spiritually connected
A rabbinic classic, hidden in the Warsaw Ghetto, is given new life
Parshat Yitro: Which one of the Commandments feels like it doesn’t belong?
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?
Secular Jews have started to appreciate the nonreligious aspects of the holiday, from blinking lights to chocolate Santas to Mariah Carey’s Yuletide hits
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.
Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own.
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.
How American homes came to embrace mass-produced Hanukkah decorations
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis ask if it is possible to do service to the true God in the wrong location
Four scholars ask: Are the high birth rates and high tuitions sustainable?
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
Finding words in liturgy to cope with tragedy
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?
While Conservative rabbis have reaffirmed their policy against officiating at interfaith weddings, Conservative synagogues move to welcome non-Jewish spouses as full members of the congregation
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?
I’m not afraid of the bullies anymore
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.
For my mother, a Holocaust survivor, Yom Kippur was wrapped up in remorse, mourning, and suffering. I’ve spent a lifetime rethinking what atonement means to me.
Every year I perform kapores with money, just as he did in his later years. But once, just once, I tried it with a live chicken.
Summer camp, Sarah McLachlan, and the sound of the shofar
What I learned leading High Holiday services at Rikers Island
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.
A little-known parable from 1930 gives us a new way of hearing the shofar