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The Mystery* of Simhat Torah 1663, at the First Synagogue in England in 350 Years

The Mystery* of Simhat Torah 1663, at the First Synagogue in England in 350 Years

*What worship service did the great diarist Samuel Pepys actually witness?

Sept. 20 2018 12:01AM
What Happens in Heaven? Study. Of What? Jewish Law.

What Happens in Heaven? Study. Of What? Jewish Law.

“In heaven there will be no law,” an American legal giant once wrote. For Jews, it’s exactly the opposite.

Sept. 13 2018 12:01AM
Rembrandt and What it Means to be Both a Stranger and a Neighbor in the World

Rembrandt and What it Means to be Both a Stranger and a Neighbor in the World

In his rendering of the banishment of Ishmael, the Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah, Rembrandt reminds us of the bond between Jews and humanity at large.

Sept. 7 2018 12:01AM
When American Jews Fought over the Balfour Declaration

When American Jews Fought over the Balfour Declaration

Despite everything that has changed, today’s internal Jewish divisions eerily echo those from exactly a century ago.

Sept. 6 2018 12:01AM
Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From?

Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From?

At least one of them might stem from the days when Jews ululated.

Sept. 5 2018 12:01AM
Accommodation: Or, Growing Up Jewish in Protestant Canada

Accommodation: Or, Growing Up Jewish in Protestant Canada

We were invited to join in the school’s prayers and hymns, but our grateful acquiescence also implied there was something illicit or shameful about our Jewishness.

Aug. 30 2018 12:01AM
Will Europe Ban Circumcision?

Will Europe Ban Circumcision?

The question sounds absurd, but anti-circumcision activists are winning legal and policy victories—and overturning the definition of freedom of religion in the process.

Aug. 29 2018 12:01AM
The Kabbalah of Birds' Nests

The Kabbalah of Birds' Nests

Is a biblical commandment against taking a mother bird with her young intended to teach mercy, or is it about something else?

Aug. 23 2018 12:01AM
Why There's No Word in the Hebrew Bible for "Spirituality"

Why There's No Word in the Hebrew Bible for "Spirituality"

For Judaism, the outward life of religious behavior comes first.

Aug. 22 2018 12:01AM
The Return of Romain Gary, Novelist, Diplomat, War Hero, Prankster

The Return of Romain Gary, Novelist, Diplomat, War Hero, Prankster

With the long-overdue translation into English of his final book, neglect of the Vilna-born Jewish author is starting to lift.

Aug. 15 2018 12:01AM
Israeli Arabs Are Speaking More Hebrew, and That's a Good Thing

Israeli Arabs Are Speaking More Hebrew, and That's a Good Thing

A country of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze all speaking Hebrew as their native tongue? For anyone genuinely interested in Israel’s welfare, it would be a dream come true.

Aug. 8 2018 12:01AM
Responsibility; or, My Brother and I (and Leonard Cohen) Go to Summer Camp

Responsibility; or, My Brother and I (and Leonard Cohen) Go to Summer Camp

And come to differing conclusions about the obligations of collective living.

Aug. 2 2018 12:01AM
How American Jews Came to Believe That Tikkun Olam Was at the Core of Their Tradition

How American Jews Came to Believe That Tikkun Olam Was at the Core of Their Tradition

A new book shows the harm that ensues when religion morphs into social-justice activism.

Aug. 1 2018 12:01AM