Header

Slaughterhouse Shrive

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.

Header

The Other Temples

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis ask if it is possible to do service to the true God in the wrong location

Header

The Showbread Must Go On

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud is ‘a kind of speculative historical fiction’ about Temple rituals

Header

Vesselmania

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic scholars grapple with the number of sacrificial measuring cups in the First Temple

Header

Oil Change

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

Header

Flour Power

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?

Header

There’s No Business Like Showbread Business

‘Daf Yomi’: Are Jews like olives, crushed for their oil, or like the leaves on the olive branch, enduring through all seasons?

Header

Strings Attached

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?

Header

Finding Meaning in Calligraphy

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.

Header

Salt Bae

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.

Header

On the One Hand

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

Header

The Talmud as Rube Goldberg Machine of the Mind

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ one rabbi finds a way out of a complex problem with meal offerings other rabbis created

Header

In the Language of Men

‘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

Header

Dirty Laundry

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?

Header

Cooking Times and Air Rights

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

Header

Bird Sacrifice

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis try to establish the rules governing ritual slaughter of feathered offerings

Header

Mapping the Temple

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

Header

Myth and Meaning

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the ancient rabbis take personal ownership of their Torah interpretations, as they map the spaces that separate the holy from the mundane

Header

On Priestly Perfection

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how ancient Talmudic rabbis recreated and understood the lost religious culture of the First Temple

Header

If A, Then B

Through Daf Yomi’s exercises in mathematical logic, Talmudic rabbis attempt to decipher the will of a reasonable God. Plus: What distinguishes guilt from sin?

Header

Slaughtered Offerings

In making animal sacrifices, says this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, ancient Jews learned the importance of doing religious actions with deliberate purpose

Header

When a King Sins

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the surprising origins of power’s responsibility to the governed. Plus: How the Kingdom of Judea became the Religion of Judaism.

Header

Disobey

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, how are individual Jews supposed to act when a religious court makes a ‘manifestly illegal’ ruling or unjust order?

Header

Grapes of Math

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmudic calculations that make forbidden wine and food into permitted meals for religious Jews

Header

Truth or Coincidences

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the Rabbis offer desperate—or reassuring—explanations for why God does not interfere in the world in order to prevent sin

Header

Statue of Limitations

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study considers how Jews can avoid idolatry and still live in a public space full of graven images

Header

On the Perils of Assimilation

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, patrolling the boundaries between Jewish and pagan society

Header

Immoral, Weak, Abusive, Untrustworthy, and Murderous

What Talmudic sages thought of the pagan gentiles of their day is disturbingly paranoid and hostile

Header

How Jews Should Deal With Gentiles

According to this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, as little as possible

Header

Thou Shalt Sell No White Rooster and Bow to No Idols

Daf Yomi: How could Jews live as a minority among peoples, the Romans and the Persians, whose religion they considered sinful?

Load More...