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.
Yatziv Pitgam: Poetry as Talmud Commentary
How should we understand Yatziv Pitgam, the enigmatic poem recited in the Haftarah for the second day of Shavuot? Tzvi Novick’s close reading reveals it to be a paean to the Torah and those who study it.
The Sacrifice of Obedience
Shlomo Zuckier asks what we can learn from Shaul's mistakes in this week's Haftara.