That’s the contention of a new book by a major historian of ancient Judaism. It deserves serious attention, but it also overstates its case.
Which would you prefer, bread or grains of wheat?
Elisha ben Avuyah became a vehicle for exploring the agonizing conundrums the rabbis were too honest to ignore but too pious to articulate.
A tale of Rabbi Akiva.
Rabbi Akiva’s laugh, the fox, and Emperor Hadrian.
Saving the lowliest sinners from hellfire.
Talmud is full of jokes. But the rabbis were also wary of excessive mirth.
The Yiddish phrase talmid hokhem denotes someone learned in Talmud. But, despite a common misconception, it does not contain the word Talmud. Rather, it comes. . .
What began in order to commemorate a devastating plague became, in Lag ba’Omer, a celebration of Jewish life—physical, spiritual, and intellectual. (Registration required.)