Interpreting the Legends of the Talmud

July 23 2019

Interspersed with the legal material that constitutes much of the Talmud are narratives—ranging from tales about the rabbis themselves, to illustrations of real-life applications of legal principles, to expanded versions of biblical stories, to legends about Alexander the Great. In The Land of the Truth: Talmud Tales, Timeless Teachings, the scholar Jeffrey Rubenstein presents fourteen of these stories, alongside his own analysis. Yitzchak Blau, in his review, praises Rubenstein for his clarity and insight, and offers as an example his reading of this characteristically bizarre tale:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Jewish studies, Judaism, Talmud

Why Israel’s Political Crisis Remains Unresolved

April 8 2020

On Monday afternoon, Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu—the leaders of Israel’s two major political parties—seemed poised to finalize a coalition agreement that would end the yearlong political stalemate. By the evening, talks broke down after Likud negotiators backtracked from a compromise over judicial appointments, and Gantz ordered his representatives to leave the table. Haviv Rettig Gur explains that Netanyahu, the incumbent prime minister, has found himself on the horns of a dilemma: he can’t form a government without compromising with Gantz, but he risks burning his bridges with his right-wing allies, foremost among them the Yamina party:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Yamina