Jewish Ideas Daily has been succeeded and re-launched as Mosaic. Read more...


Knowing When It’s Time to Go Knowing When It’s Time to Go
Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Talmud states, "The older Torah scholars become, the greater wisdom increases within them."  Yet the Torah imposes an age limit on spiritual leadership.
Go to Ammon and Moab Go to Ammon and Moab
Monday, February 25, 2013 by Daniel Gordis | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Imagining themselves to be the wise men consulted on Vashti’s fate, the Rabbis deferred to the Jews’ enemies, saying, “from the day when we were exiled from our land, wisdom has been taken from us."
Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem—or a Piece of Jerusalem? Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem—or a Piece of Jerusalem?
Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Archeology has become a full-fledged battlefield in the dispute over who has the superior claim to Jerusalem: Jews or Muslims.
The Month of Return The Month of Return
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Tevi Troy and Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Jewish month of Av will soon become Ellul, and mourning for the destruction of the Temples will give way to repentance for our sins.  It is time for introspection; and, as we contemplate our relationships with others and with the Divine, questions about penitence, forgiveness, change, and mortality itself inevitably arise.
Editors' Picks
The Roots of Seder Night Dorothy D. Resig, Bible History Daily. Even while the Temple stood, some Jews were unable to offer the Paschal sacrifice.  Still, they found ways to recognize the holiday.
A Sweet Aroma For the Lord? Gil Student, Torah Musings. Was incense in the mishkan and the Temple intended as a way to respond to God's presence—or as a means to mask the stench of sacrificial slaughter?
Budget-Balancing, Roman-Style , Bible History Daily. The Emperor Vespasian took office amid a fiscal deficit.  But plunder from the Jewish Revolt not only filled the budget hole but financed the construction of the Colosseum.
Revisionist Rabbis Yitz Landes, Talmud Blog. A new book argues that the Mishnah's descriptions of Temple rituals serve to "claim authority for the rabbis," by portraying proto-rabbinic decisors as the arbiters of Temple practice. 
Sending An Emissary to God Dovi Nadel, Kol Hamevaser. The role of sheliah tzibbur (messenger of the congregation) as a prayer leader, is as old as the synagogue.  But the term goes back further still—and is applied to God Himself.
Judea's Other Temples Adiv Sterman, Times of Israel. A recently discovered temple at Tel Motza provides evidence that ritual practices occurred at various sites in Judea before they were prohibited in places outside the Temple in Jerusalem.
Cue the Organ Benjamin Ivry, Forward. Once, churches forbade organs because they recalled Jewish Temple music in Jerusalem.  Later, the Haskalah re-introduced the organ to synagogues—partly to drown out the cantor.
Under A Tax Shaye J. D. Cohen, Bible History Daily. Vespasian's fiscus judaicus not only undermined the Temple by diverting tithes to the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, but may also have accelerated the break between Judaism and Christianity. 
The Dignity of the Individual Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Book of Doctrines and Opinions. In which the Rov rejects the death penalty for the Rosenbergs, says that slander in political elections is forbidden, and admits personal tension between his ideal of dignity and his impatience with the less educated. (1959; lecture notes)
The Nugatory Nine Days Joshua Maroof, Vesom Sechel . By scrupulously observing the various restrictions of the Nine Days without internalizing the spirit of mourning that the law reflects, today's Jews embody the reason for the Temple's destruction.