In advance of Tisha Be-Av, Tzvi Novick annotates and interprets the kinnah of a’adeh ad hug shamayim by the master poet R. Eleazar ha-Kalir, unlocking its complex acrostic to determine who its speaker is meant to be.
Ayelet Wenger offers a creative, intertextual reading of the story of Rabbi Akiva and the Wolf on the Temple Mount.
Erica Brown considers the little-discussed prohibition on planting during the Nine Days and what it teaches about the nature of mourning and joy.
Chaim Saiman on halakhic change and the observance of Tisha Be-Av.
The Talmudic story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza is often used to highlight the destructive consequences of baseless hatred. In an intriguing reading, David Hellman suggests that the hatred that motivated the tale’s participants is more complex than meets the eye.
Zohar Atkins shares a few poetic excerpts in honor of Tishah be-Av
In his latest for the Lehrhaus, Dan Ornstein creatively imagines the story of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Yohanan through his teachings on the Book of Job. The short story is followed by a reflection on the methodology and power of "contemporary midrash."
Eli Rubin reviews Alan Rosen's The Holocaust’s Jewish Calendars: Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy.
Yosef Lindell examines how Yehudah ha-Levi's kinnah about the bubbling blood of Zechariah modifies the story found in Talmudic sources and thus tackles the question of theodicy.
Miriam Zami’s essay, runner-up to Hadar's annual Ateret Zvi Prize, uncovers the political and theological resistance of Rabbi Akiva’s laughter in the wake of the destruction of the Temple.
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