Adam Kirsch

Adam Kirsch is a contributing editor for Tablet Magazine and the author of Benjamin Disraeli, a biography in the Nextbook Press Jewish Encounters book series.

Would a Jackal Take Better Care of Its Young?

For most Jews in Talmudic times, marriage was the biggest financial transaction of their lives

When Jews Were Like ISIS

We, too, stoned our women for infidelity. Patriarchal injustice persists in Orthodoxy. What’s a modern Talmud reader to do?

Alexis Landau’s Merchant Ivory Novel

In a ‘richly appointed’ debut, ‘The Empire of the Senses,’ German Jews of the 1920s live in blissful ignorance

Talmudic Rabbis Debated the Cost of Rape—In Terms of the Woman’s Market Value

Reading the oral law today forces Jews to reconcile repellent, outdated legal views with modern morals

Incestuous Rapists Get What They Deserve

Talmudic rabbis believe ‘the hand of Heaven’ makes sure that the punishment fits the crime

Israel: The Original Terrorist State

Bruce Hoffman’s riveting new history of pre-1947 Palestine reviews the violent birth of the modern Jewish homeland

Belief, Truth, and Lies in Divorce, Marriage, Rape, and Female Chastity

Rightly or wrongly, Talmudic thinkers presumed that gentiles would persecute the Jews in their midst

Can a Blind Bride Be Attractive? If Not, How Do You Pay Her a Compliment?

The sages debate the demerits of little white lies, and consider the subtleties of legal claims made by spouses and other property owners

Virginity Is a Commodity (and Can Be Divined by Sitting a Bride on a Wine Barrel)

Talmudic rabbis are less interested in mystical speculation than in concrete questions, like the state of women’s hymens

Sadistic Jewish Hitler Scholar Abuses Girl in Jerusalem

Israeli novelist Gail Hareven dives fearlessly into the the moral quagmires of abuse, vengeance, and the legacy of the Holocaust

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