Quarried in Air

Quarried in Air

Shai Secunda

Sefer Yeṣirah is the most influential Jewish book you never heard of. Indeed, it has been argued that early commentaries written on the book tilled the gnostic soil out of which sprouted the tree of Kabbalah.

Sacrificial Speech

Sacrificial Speech

Shai Secunda

Just a few years after the publication of her Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature, Mira Balberg has somehow managed to write another path-breaking work on another formidable and arcane section of rabbinic literature—sacrificial law.

Shababshubap

Shai Secunda

Black hat chic: Shai Secunda's review of Shababnikim, the new television show about cool yeshiva students.

Purity and Obscurity

Shai Secunda

When contemporary Jews of priestly lineage avoid cemeteries, when ordinary Jews wash their hands before eating, or immerse themselves in ritual baths, they are acting according to the dictates of an ancient system.

Desert Wild

Desert Wild

Shai Secunda

Zornberg’s sessions are deeply informed by traditional Jewish sources, especially the interpretations of classic rabbinic midrash and the homilies of Hasidic masters.

Common Clay

Shai Secunda

Virtually nothing of Babylonian Jewry of the talmudic period, from the 3rd to the 6th century C.E., has survived beyond the Babylonian Talmud itself to help contextualize or confirm the many things the text tells its readers.