TABLE OF CONTENTS
In the 1860s, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv tried to found a new kind of yeshiva in which students would devote significant time to thinking about their moral lives.
by Allan Nadler
Old World Ashkenazi cantorial art—khazones—is making a comeback, with a surprising little boost from a Leonard Cohen single (yes, that Leonard Cohen).
In this season of repentance, it is not only the laws of the rabbis, but their stories as well, that teach us how—and how not—to forgive.
And should we add a confession on Yom Kippur “for the sin of opening browser windows of distraction”? On Aristotle’s akrasia and Maimonides’s teshuvah.
by Noah Millman
How Shakespeare helps us think about the akedah, and vice versa.
by Shari Saiman
The reimagining of an ancient architectural ritual.
There was once a custom for a pregnant woman to bite off the tip of the etrog at the end of Sukkot. This excerpt includes the text of a Yiddish prayer, or tkhine, that the pregnant woman is instructed to recite based on an interpretation of Genesis 3:6.
The tradition to stay up all night studying on Shavuot is far more well known than the tradition to do so on Hoshana Rabbah. Neither would have been possible without Kabbalah and caffeine.
by Adam Kirsch
The scroll, which was originally a secular technology, became closely associated with Judaism at a time when Christians were adopting the codex for their holy books.
The Torah reading cycle provides the structure not just for the Jewish year but also for countless volumes of commentary on the biblical text.
We once worried about the faith of young American Jews; now we worry about their politics. It’s part of a long historical development we should resist because Judaism-as-politics isn’t enough.
Not writing what you know can help an author steer away from autobiographical shoals, but it puts a certain research burden on the writer.
In a provocative new work recently published in German, Bernd Witte proposes nothing less than an “alternative history of German culture,” as the subtitle of his finely wrought work of scholarship tells us. Moses and Homer: Greeks, Jews, Germans is a historical and cultural argument animated by powerful indignation. This history, he insists, has yet to be fully confronted.
On Celia Dropkin’s avant-garde Yiddish break-up poem and a political insight.