An overview of some of the issues and controversy involved in writing and interpreting Jewish history.
The ongoing struggle and the Middle East peace process.
Is it enough to live up the requirements of Jewish law for one to be holy? Is sanctity in this life possible for all of us—or only for a few saintly people?
Moshe Idel's critique of Gershom Scholem.
The first chapter of the biblical book of Ezekiel served as the textual starting point for the merkavah mystics—and hints at an image of God.
Few post-talmudic works have been as revered as the Zohar, the mystical commentary on the Torah.
The Hasidim wrote and told stories about their leaders.
Some traditional Jewish authorities condemn homosexuality, while advocating compassion for individual gays and lesbians.
The Torah does not address lesbianism, but later rabbinic commentators frowned upon it.
While the Torah does not forbid premarital sex, the rabbis of the talmudic era prohibited it--but one modern authority proposed a sanctioned form of exclusive sexual relationship outside of marriage.
Jacob flees to his uncle Laban's household and lives there for several years, marrying Laban's daughters, Leah and Rachel, and building a large family.
With video commentary from BimBam.