Frum and Free? Passover and Jewish Views on Liberty

Aton Holzer offers a novel re-reading of the Seder, arguing that it reflects and recreates four types of liberty that can be found in the Exodus narrative, as well as a fifth form of freedom.

Imagining Passover

As we prepare for Passover, enjoy these three poems by Bruce Black meditating on the past, present, and future of our Exodus.

Purim, Poverty, And Propriety—Three Talmudic Stories

Dan Ornstein explains how three Talmudic stories about mishloah manot and matanot le-evyonim on Purim can sensitize us to how to relate to the recipients of these gifts.

Esther, Feminist Ethics, and the Creation of Jewish Community

How can the mitzvot of Purim reveal the feminist ethics of the Megillah? Aton Holzer offers an enlightening new reading of the Megillah, suggesting that there is a profound connection between the text's structure and its ethics.

Amalek and the War Against War

As we reflect on ever-present evil by reading Parashat Zakhor this Shabbat amidst the shocking human tragedy of the war in Ukraine, Zach Truboff brings to light a derasha by Rav Moshe Avigdor Amiel written a century ago that speaks to this very moment.

Guilt and Shame Cultures in the Thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Marc Eichenbaum explores the idea of guilt and shame cultures in the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z"tl, which provides a novel interpretation of Torah and a powerful lesson for contemporary society.

Kivnei Maron

As we approach a new calendar year, Ben Corvo's poem meditates retrospectively on this past Rosh Ha-Shanah and the darkness of everyday life.

Shnei Zeitim: A Hanukkah Piyyut About the Separation of Powers

Yitzhak Szyf explores the piyyut of Shnei Zeitim, a once well-known addition to the Shabbat Hanukkah services that subtly critiques the Hasmoneans for usurping the kingship while serving as priests.

Outside Help in the Teshuvah Process

With Hoshanah Rabbah today and the theme of repentance in mind, Jack Cohen explores the role that outsiders play in one's teshuva process through an enigmatic midrash instructing one to return a person to themselves.

When God Appeases Man: Yom Kippur in a Time of Exile

Yom Kippur marks the end of an 11 week period when thematic haftarot about the destruction of the Temple, consolation following its loss, and repentance replace haftarot connected to the weekly Torah reading. What can this grouping teach us about the nature of forgiveness and reconciliation? Hannah Abrams explains.