Rabbi Louis Jacobs


The rabbis developed an elaborate system of tithing produce, mostly to provide livelihood for priests and Levites.

Who Were the Tannaim and Amoraim?

The great sages of the Mishnah and Talmud.

Rabbinic Synods

Rabbinic conventions can--following specific guidelines--amend Jewish law.

Syncretism and Judaism

Throughout history Jews have accepted some influences of outside religions and cultures, and rejected others.

Why Do Some Jews Sway in Prayer?

Also known as shuckling, this movement is particularly common in Hasidic worship.


Sufi ideas found their way into Jewish mystical literature through Bahya Ibn Pakudah and the Kabbalist Isaac of Acre.

Sefer Hasidim

This medieval work describes the ideal life of the pious Jew.


Jews and Christians read their own ideas about authority into this ancient legislative institution.


Since the destruction of the Temples, Jews have struggled with the enduring meaning and legacy of the sacrificial rites.

Azariah de Rossi

Medieval Italian scholar pioneered the 'scientific' study of the Jewish past.