In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ minima and maxima decorate the memory palaces Talmudic rabbis built to sustain the oral tradition of Babylonian learning
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages make ‘valuations’ and ‘assessments’ of living people, in ancient actuarial tables with premiums paid at the Temple
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, how Jewish conceptions of friendship and trust are tied up in ritual purity and levels of religious observance
At 100, the U.K.’s greatest Jewish celebrity tabloid writer would rather dance with Sophia Loren
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’: Are the laws of kashrut based on an overly wide interpretation of a single verse in Deuteronomy?
In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ prohibitions against slaughtering the young of sacrificed livestock reveal the thoroughness and complexity of Talmudic study of contingencies
Or, how the Jews reconquered London
‘Daf Yomi’: To avoid conflicts of interest, Talmudic rabbis put limits on their own authority over kosher slaughter
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?
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
News of the News: Like in the Middle East, U.S. political operatives and intelligence officials are increasingly using the cloak of journalism as a tool for their aims
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 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 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 continue their investigations into sacrificial offerings and remain dispassionate in their analysis of sexual sins. Plus: the origin of the word ‘treyf.’
Bookworm: The Austrian novelist dissects a broken heart
Bookworm: Like James Gatz, my grandfather from the Ottoman Empire reinvented himself in America
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