When the literary critic Adam Kirsch began the regimen of daily Talmud study known as daf yomi (“daily page”) seven-and-a-half years ago, he did not do so in “the spirit of a believer,” and he concluded it earlier this month still a confirmed secular Jew. Reflecting on the experience—very different, as he notes, from that of the thousands of Jews around the world who concluded the Talmud along with him—he ponders its larger significance:
Can Judaism Thrive If Cut Off from Its Talmudic Roots?
Islamic Texts Provide Evidence That Belies Palestinian Propaganda about the Temple Mount
In the past few years, Palestinian leaders have added to their familiar, scurrilous claim that Israel plans to seize or destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock the assertion that there never was a Jewish Temple there, and that the site had no significance to Jews before modern times. Nadav Shragai argues that, to counteract this effort to rewrite history, it is not sufficient to turn to the wealth of archaeological evidence, which might not prove persuasive to a Muslim audience. Instead, he urges Israel and its defenders to build their case on Islamic sources: