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Iranian Jewry Today Iranian Jewry Today
Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Shai Secunda | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In late June 2012, the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran addressed an international conference on the proliferation of illicit drugs.  He acknowledged his country’s extensive border with Afghanistan, the largest producer of illegal opium in the world.  But he also blamed the crisis on the Babylonian Talmud.
The Postmodern Golem The Postmodern Golem
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

To Elizabeth Baer, the recent spate of golem literature, going beyond novels to comic books, artwork, even The X-Files, is an “intentional tribute to Jewish imagination as well as to the crucial importance of such imagination in the post-Holocaust period.”
Is Romantic Love a Jewish Value? Is Romantic Love a Jewish Value?
Friday, August 3, 2012 by Ben Greenfield | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Today is the happiest day in the Hebrew calendar.  According to the Mishnah, Tu b’Av (the 15th of the month of Av) was a joyous occasion on which the unmarried women of ancient Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards, hoping to find a match.
The Daily Page: A “Siyum”-posium The Daily Page: A “Siyum”-posium
Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Jacob J. Schacter, Yoel Finkelman, Michael Carasik, Tzvi H. Weinreb, Devora Steinmetz, Moshe Sokolow, Yehudah Mirsky, Mark Gottlieb, David Glasner, Aryeh Tepper, Marc B. Shapiro, Gil Student, Emanuel Feldman, Alon Shalev, Viva Hammer, Shlomo Zuckier, and Saul J. Berman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

UPDATE: New posts as of 8/3/12, 1:11 a.m. 
Endearment in the Wilderness Endearment in the Wilderness
Friday, July 27, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

First of all, let’s stipulate that the midbar in Sefer B'midbar, the fourth of the five books of Moses which we have just finished reading, is not necessarily a desert. 
Englishing the Talmud Englishing the Talmud
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

According to a rabbinic tradition recorded in the Talmud (Shabbat 12b), God’s angels do not understand the Aramaic language in which the Talmud itself is mainly composed. As many a modern reader can testify, they’re hardly alone.
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Editors' Picks
Of Rabbis and Maccabees Reuben Livingstone, Jewish Chronicle. The rabbis never deny the necessity of self-defense.  So, why does the Talmud’s discussion of Hanukkah downplay the military exploits of the Maccabees?
Cut-Flower Ethics and Jewish Culture David Wolpe, Weekly Standard. Amos Oz might imagine there is a large coterie of “atheists of the book,” waiting to be swept up in the vast sea of Jewish literature.  But is this actually the case?  
Hear, O Israel? Michael L. Satlow, Then and Now. There is no evidence of public Torah readings until the first century B.C.E.  So, how much did the Jews of antiquity know about the Bible?  
The Zionist of Vilna Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post. On the 215th anniversary of the Vilna Gaon’s death, he should be remembered not only for championing Talmud study but also for encouraging thousands of Jews to make aliyah. 
More Digitalmud Shai Secunda, Elli Fischer, Talmud Blog. Is the iPad-toting Jewish scholar just obeying the injunction to speak of the commandments “when you sit at home and walk the road, when you lie down and get up?”
Digitalmud Elli Fischer, Shai Secunda, Jewish Review of Books. Attempts to clarify the Talmud have always provoked new waves of commentary and dispute. Rashi's monumental running commentary opened the door for more sophisticated analysis. What might the ArtScroll app provoke?
A Real Agunah Solution Judith Hauptman, Phyllis H. Waldmann, Jewish Week. “She came across an envelope postmarked October 20, 1936.  Upon carefully opening it, she found a document written in German with the word Halitzah at the top. Although not knowing what the document was, she detected certain similarities to her parents’ ketubah . . .”
The Talmud in Dutch, a Tribute Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA. Holocaust survivor Jacob de Leeuwe has finished translating the first tractate into Dutch, in a tribute to a vanishing community and a work of "tikkun."
Talmudic Stories, with Ruth Calderon Steve Paulson, To the Best of Our Knowledge. Woven into the Talmud’s legal arguments are “miniature stories,” written by Babylonian rabbis, that leaven the debate with human texture. 
Water of Life Yonatan Neril, Torah Musings. Far from the abundant water supplies of the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Nile, Israel’s reliance on rainfall is designed to remind us that all our needs depend on divine providence.