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Why Does the Bible Require New Mothers to Atone after Childbirth?

Why Does the Bible Require New Mothers to Atone after Childbirth?

The law in Leviticus seems morally questionable, not to mention out of line with the Bible’s otherwise encouraging stance toward the bearing of children. What’s it really about?

April 27 2017 12:01AM
There's No Need to Reclaim the Word “Jew”

There's No Need to Reclaim the Word “Jew”

Contrary to a Times column, the reason people say “he’s Jewish” rather than “he’s a Jew” has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It’s just a quirk of grammar, and it’s not unique to Jews.

April 26 2017 12:01AM
Why the Lord Doesn't Allow David to Build the Temple

Why the Lord Doesn't Allow David to Build the Temple

David remains a revolutionary hero, a guerrilla leader and desert tribal bandit—too much of a renegade at heart to be entrusted with His house.

April 20 2017 12:01AM
My Life with Hebrew

My Life with Hebrew

When people find out that I teach Hebrew literature, they invariably remark, “Oh, you must be fluent.” I’ve now been working hard at it for many decades, and I’m still not there.

April 13 2017 12:01AM
The Illusory Quest for a Vital American Center

The Illusory Quest for a Vital American Center

What a new history of American civil religion gets wrong.

April 6 2017 12:01AM
Why the Beginning of the Haggadah Is in Aramaic
April 5 2017 12:01AM
In Judaism, Holiness Is as Holiness Does

In Judaism, Holiness Is as Holiness Does

The fire at the core of Leviticus.

March 30 2017 12:01AM
Famous Amos

Famous Amos

The latest novel by Amos Oz, Israel’s best-known writer, is ostensibly an allegory about both the state of Israel and the betrayal of Jesus. What’s it actually about?

March 29 2017 12:01AM
The Origins of Foolishness

The Origins of Foolishness

Where does the Yiddish word narishkayt come from?

March 22 2017 12:01AM
The Darkest Day in the History of Judaism?

The Darkest Day in the History of Judaism?

When Israelites who stood for God were ordered to kill their fellows who had stood for the Golden Calf.

March 16 2017 12:01AM
For George Eliot, to Appreciate the Jews Was to Save England

For George Eliot, to Appreciate the Jews Was to Save England

In a new lecture series, a master teacher shows the enduring relevance of the great 19th-century novelist’s Daniel Deronda.

March 15 2017 12:01AM
Did American Racism Inspire the Nazis?

Did American Racism Inspire the Nazis?

A new book claims as much—and in so doing falls into the intellectual trap known as reductio ad Hitlerum.

March 9 2017 12:01AM
You Didn't Know There Was Another Ahasueros?

You Didn't Know There Was Another Ahasueros?

Starting in the 16th century, this Ahasueros has personified the legendary figure of the “Wandering Jew,” symbol of the accursed Jewish people. How come?

March 8 2017 12:01AM