The First Yeshiva Exile
Reading R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus and Shammai through an autistic lens, Liz Shayne explores how uncompromising, righteous anger can find a place in the beit midrash.
U-shemor Nafshekha: The Curious History of the (Supposed) Mitzvah to Maintain One’s Health
What does the Torah mean when it says to "guard your nefesh (soul)"? Lehrhaus editor David Fried reevaluates the common understanding of a Torah mandate for healthy living.
Rabbi Elazar Ben Dordaya: The Master of Teshuvah
Shloime Schwartz looks at the numerous lessons about Teshuvah that the commentaries derive from the story of Rabbi Elazar ben Dordaya.
Secular Music and the Jewish Soul
The Talmud criticizes the heretic Elisha ben Avuyah, or Aher, for listening to Greek music. But what did he do wrong? Todd Berman uses a close reading of Rashi’s comments on the Talmudic passage to explain.
Kamtza and Bar Kamtza in the Age of Cancel Culture
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.
“Justice has not Been Done”: Officer Immunity and Accountability in Jewish Law (Part 1)
David Polsky meticulously analyzes Halakhic sources on the use of force by officers of the law.
The Nazir and the Priest
Yoni Nouriel examines an episode in the Talmud where Shimon Ha-Tzadik describes his encounter with an impure Nazir.
Cities of Crumbling Walls: What The Talmud Can Teach Us About Living Through A...
What can the Talmud teach us about living through a pandemic? Avi Strausberg argues that it teaches us quite a bit about strengthening acts of kindness and solidarity in our communities.
Holidays Reimagined: From Pesah To Purim To Post-Hurban Pesah
Shimon Laufer examines how Rabbinic understanding of the holiday of Passover influenced the holiday of Purim, and how one of the oldest manuscripts of the Mishnah hints that the converse may be true as well.
Humor: The Refuge of the Wise
Rami Reiner examines how our understanding of a Talmudic passage could change if we allow for the possibility of it being a comedy.