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?
The UN Human Rights Council Makes a Mockery of Human Rights
Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Office issued a list of businesses “involved in certain activities relating to [Jewish] settlements” in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and parts of Jerusalem. Setting aside the office’s dubious assumption that international law forbids Jews from living in the areas in question, and also setting aside its obsessive fixation on Israel, Evelyn Gordon examines the sheer absurdity of the suggestion that the companies on the list somehow violate anyone’s human rights: