Jewish Texts

Jewish Texts

Jewish Texts

Is anything written by a Jew a Jewish text, and who decides?

Bible

The Torah

Five books of story, law, and poetry divided into 54 weekly portions.

Talmud

What Is the Talmud?

An intergenerational rabbinic conversation that is studied, not read.

Balaam the Prophet

The infamous story of the prophet with the talking donkey demonstrates the Bible's awareness that powers of divination were not limited to Israelite seers.

The Book of Eicha: Faith in a Whirlwind

At the core of Lamentations is an expression of faith in the human capacity to survive in a broken world.

The Book of Lamentations

This special reading for Tisha B'Av sets the tone for this tragic and mournful day

Elijah the Prophet

As the herald of the messianic age and a recurring figure in Jewish folklore, Elijah's legacy surpasses that of virtually all the other prophets of Israel.

By the Rivers of Babylon We Remember Zion

This famous psalm is read on the eve of Tisha B'Av and sets the tone for an emotionally challenging holiday.

The Prohibition Against Studying Torah on Tisha B’Av

Why would learning sacred Jewish texts be forbidden on this day of fasting and mourning?

Deutero-Isaiah: A Prophet of Comfort

After first Isaiah’s message of rebuke, another writing under his name came to comfort Israel with immortal poetry.

Amos: Channeling the Wrath of God’s Justice

Amos' prophecy shows that God's wrath blazes so fiercely precisely because of God's compassion for the weak and the marginalized.

Ezekiel: Prophecy as Performance Art

The fourth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel finds God instructing the prophet to perform a series of bizarre tasks.

Nathan the Prophet

Best-known to us as King David's prophet, Nathan should perhaps better be known as the man who ensures Solomon's rise to the throne of Israel.

Daf Yomi

This global project of Jewish learning, now accessible to all.

How to Read the Talmud

Why this classic work of law, stories and wisdom isn't really about any of those things.