The Monthly Portion

David remains a revolutionary hero, a guerrilla leader and desert tribal bandit—too much of a renegade at heart to be entrusted with His house.

April 20 2017 12:01AM

The fire at the core of Leviticus.

March 30 2017 12:01AM

When Israelites who stood for God were ordered to kill their fellows who had stood for the Golden Calf.

March 16 2017 12:01AM

The great song marking the Israelites’ safe crossing of the Sea of Reeds is the Hebrew Bible’s only full-length poem recited collectively by the people as a whole. What is it really about?

Feb. 9 2017 12:01AM

The two disparate texts intoned at Ariel Sharon’s funeral tell us much about contemporary Jewish attitudes toward life, death, and the land of Israel.

Feb. 2 2017 12:01AM

In the Jewish tradition, the summit of religious awareness is to know that God is ultimately unknowable.

Jan. 19 2017 12:01AM

Nishmat starts with the wide-open sky and the wings of eagles; it ends deep inside the recesses of the body, in our vital organs.

Dec. 28 2016 12:01AM

The story of Joseph sets up two archetypes: the righteous dreamer (Joseph) and the flawed but penitent sinner (his brother Judah). Both have a place in the tradition, but one is preferred.

Dec. 22 2016 12:01AM

Can you imagine the person who bathed you and put you to bed at night tying you up one day and holding a knife to your throat?

Nov. 17 2016 12:01AM

The ancient priesthood, the Pharisees, the kabbalists, the Ḥasidim—each of these and more have made a stand in the prayer book for what they think Judaism should be.

Oct. 20 2016 12:01AM

The point of the Torah’s rules on foreign brides and divorce.

Sept. 15 2016 12:01AM

A biblical story marks the moment when Judaism turned from charismatic authority to institutional authority, and from the rule of judgment to the rule of law.

July 28 2016 12:01AM

They looked inside themselves and saw only their own fear, not the confidence needed to make the land of Israel their own.

June 30 2016 12:01AM

Read enough of the Hebrew Bible and you could come to the conclusion that the two are intertwined, or even interdependent.

June 3 2016 12:01AM