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.
Many have marveled at the wisdom of the biblical books attributed to King Solomon. Here, in a new translation by Robert Alter, is Proverbs' account of the birth of Wisdom herself, from The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary, now out with Norton.
A startling painting on the walls of the ancient synagogue at Dura Europos depicts some 2nd-century Jews who have, until recently, been dead and who look very surprised to have been reconstituted and revived.
Was Jacques Derrida a Jewish thinker?
Ben Hecht’s life should come with a warning label: Biographer, beware. A trickster, a prankster, a cool Wildean ironist, he was always a fast-moving target.