Columnists

Literature — Adam Kirsch

In Matters of Divorce, as in Uber’s ‘Surge Pricing,’ What’s Unjust Isn’t Always Illegal

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ probes the connection between the magical thinking of the Bible and the rational concerns of the Talmud

Marjorie Ingall

The Last Jewish Mother on Television

‘The Big Bang Theory’ marks the end of an era. But Asian-American mothers may pick up where Jewish mothers left off.

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Let’s Talk About Sex With Minors, Rape, and ‘Uncovering the Nakedness’ of Sisters

Talmudic rabbis, gladiators of the mind, sought glory and eternal fame—but also pondered the mundane side of being human

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

Why Obama Wasn’t in Paris

The largest protest in French history conspicuously lacked one person

Literature — Adam Kirsch

The Return of Martin Guerre: Abandoned, Adulterous, Raped, and Widowed Wives

Talmudic sages say that sinful acts—especially those committed by women—are not the rabbis’ fault

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Does a Penis Make the Man? Hermaphrodites, Eunuchs, and Jews With Genital Deformities

Jewish law loves to separate people into airtight categories. Real-life sex and gender are more complicated. What then?

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Only the Wife Knows If the Husband’s ‘Semen Shoots Like an Arrow’

And other problems of divorce, infertility, and urination, in this week’s Talmud study

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Virgins, ‘Partial Virgins,’ Sodomy, Bestiality, Prostitutes, Marriage, and Forbidden Sex

In the patriarchal society of the Talmud, a woman’s body is always under the supervision and scrutiny of men

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

Barack Obama’s Turkish Fruitcake

President Erdogan builds an opulent palace for himself, part of a 20-year mess that is American Middle East policy

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Can a Woman Rape a Man, as Shia LaBoeuf Claimed? The Rabbis Have a Say.

This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study is NSFW

Obsessive. Compulsive. And Orthodox.

It took years for me to recognize my OCD, and even longer to keep it from interfering with my religious observance

Tony Judt Is Aging Poorly

A new collection of the late historian’s essays says more about his prejudices than about his achievements

American Jews Must Stop Obsessing Over the Holocaust

Jacob Neusner shows how an identity founded on oppression and persecution limits the potential of the Diaspora

For One Rabbi, the Personal Is Political When It Comes to Immigration

I must speak out against injustice—but if I speak up, will I be forced to leave the U.S.?

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Shooter

Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ and Israel’s ‘Zero Motivation’ both capture the solitude that lies at the heart of military service

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