Browsing Tag

torah in real life


These Israeli Dogs are the Canines of the Book

By On December 23, 2016

Like most things in the Middle East, Israel’s national dog breed—the Canaan dog—has been around for a very, very long time. Adorably occupying an ecological niche based on waste from humans, these… Read More

A Blog That Mixes the Perfect Drink for Every Torah Portion

A Blog That Mixes the Perfect Drink for Every Torah Portion

By On May 31, 2016

Have you ever been reading the weekly Torah portion and thought to yourself, “I could really use a drink”? If you know that feeling, we have just the blog for you: Tippling… Read More

Bob Dylan Lyrics as Oral Law

Bob Dylan Lyrics as Oral Law?

By On March 8, 2016

  “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall,” sang Bob Dylan in his 1964 anthem “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” Dylan was… Read More

Torah Taxidermy in the Brooklyn Shtetl

Bizarre Torah Taxidermy in the Heart of Jewish Brooklyn

By On March 6, 2016

  Tucked away in a brownstone in the Brooklyn shtetl of Borough Park is a family-friendly attraction of almost Biblical proportions: Torah Animal World, or the “spiritual taxidermy center” of New York… Read More


The Sage and the Bathhouse

By On August 15, 2013

Q: What’s worse than a rabbinic sage frequenting a den of public nudity and sex adorned with statues of pagan goddesses? A: A rabbinic sage discussing Torah in that den. Read on: The Mishnah relates… Read More


Java’s Last Shul and the World’s Tallest Menorah

By On August 8, 2013

Until recently, the city of Surabaya, on the Indonesian island of Java, had one synagogue. But now it has none, and nobody’s quite sure why. Surabaya’s tiny Jewish population descends from Iraqi Jews, who… Read More


Shabbos with the Penguins

By On April 5, 2013

We’ve grown so accustomed to Chabad-Lubavitch’s ubiquity that it is no longer surprising to see Chabad houses popping up everywhere from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta. But not long ago,… Read More


“I UNPLUG TO . . . cuddle”

By On February 19, 2013

Being connected 24/7 is practically a requirement for the 21st-century American worker. Some—like Officer Jeffrey Allen who’s making news for suing the Chicago Police Department for requiring him to check his BlackBerry off the… Read More


The Dark Side of the Bible

By On June 22, 2012

In one of the darkest moments in the war between Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders on the TV show The Simpsons, Homer is about to unleash a swarm of locusts on his adversary. “Wow,” crows his… Read More


Divine Plagiarism

By On January 9, 2012

“We steal lyrics from God,” claims the website for the band Stereo Sinai. It isn’t exactly a lie–the husband-wife duo, who hail from Chicago, take biblical verses, pair them with a catchy hybrid of electronic and folk-pop music,… Read More


Special Needs in the Bible

By On December 12, 2011

Did the biblical character Esau have ADHD? Did Isaac have a cognitive disability? The new book Esau’s Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs looks at our biblical ancestors through the lens of contemporary psychology and medicine.… Read More


Stairway to Heaven

By On October 25, 2011

At the start of the Bible, everyone on Earth speaks the same language. This all changes when a group of people decides to build a tower–the Tower of Babel–up to the heavens (Genesis 11).… Read More