Browsing Tag

talmudic fables

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The Talmud Says Eclipses Are a Bad Omen. Sorry.

By On August 18, 2017

Jews have a prayer for everything, from eating a new fruit to using the toilet. So what does the Talmud say about an eclipse? “The Sages taught: When the sun is eclipsed… Read More

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Lailah, the Angel of Conception, Left Her Mark On Your Face

By On June 30, 2017

You might not know it, but you have a philtrum and everyone who looks at you can see it. The philtrum—that groove we all have above our upper lips—may not be a… Read More

What’s In God’s Tefillin?
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What’s In God’s Tefillin?

By On June 25, 2014

  Tefillin, or phylacteries, are the black leather straps and boxes that are worn on the head and on the arm during weekday morning prayers. Madonna puts them on with her teeth. Barbie has a pair. Once… Read More

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The Rabbinic Sage Who Dismembered His Adversaries

By On July 9, 2013

Talmudic and aggadic lore offers many episodes of rabbinic sages intellectually defeating the luminaries of the Hellenistic world. Far less common are instances of rabbis dismembering their pagan nemeses. So 2nd-century Rabbi Joshua Ben Hananiah really stands… Read More

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Meet Talmudic Environmentalist Honi the Circle-Maker

By On February 8, 2012

The Talmudic fable of Honi the Circle-Maker isn’t the only lesson on environmentalism from traditional Jewish sources, but it’s an especially fascinating–and especially strange–story. Honi, a first-century miracle-worker, had a foolproof way for making rain:… Read More

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