Telling the Story of Talmudic Stories

March 4 2016

In a recent book, Migrating Tales: the Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context, Richard Kalmin seeks out the origins of numerous tales told in the Babylonian Talmud, which was compiled in the Persian empire around the year 500 CE. Kalmin argues that most are traceable not to Babylonian sources but to Jewish and non-Jewish sources in the eastern Mediterranean, then under the influence of Rome. In his review, Amit Gvaryahu discusses some implications that Kalmin may have overlooked:

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Read more at Marginalia

More about: Ancient Near East, Ancient Persia, Babylonian Jewry, History & Ideas, Talmud

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer