Rabbi Elazar Ben Dordaya: The Master of Teshuvah

Shloime Schwartz looks at the numerous lessons about Teshuvah that the commentaries derive from the story of Rabbi Elazar ben Dordaya.

Can We Cancel Tishah Be-Av? The “Four Fasts” in Light of the Miracle of the...

Shimshon Nadel examines the question of whether we should continue to fast on Tishah Be-Av in light of the existence of the Modern State of Israel.

Kamtza and Bar Kamtza in the Age of Cancel Culture

The Talmudic story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza is often used to highlight the destructive consequences of baseless hatred. In an intriguing reading, David Hellman suggests that the hatred that motivated the tale’s participants is more complex than meets the eye.

Shomron Kol Titein: Let the Silent Sisters Speak and be Consoled

Yosef Lindell examines why Shomron Kol Titein is a fitting conclusion to the daytime kinnot on Tisha Be-Av.

How the Student Poland Experience Has Changed

The Poland trip has become de rigueur for Modern Orthodox gap-year students. But seismic changes in contemporary Poland and shifting trends in Modern Orthodoxy mean that the content and meaning of these trips are different than they used to be. David I. Bernstein, who has been leading Poland trips since 1992, tells the story of the student Poland experience, then and now.

Joyful Planting: COVID and the Prohibition of Planting During the Three Weeks

Erica Brown considers the little-discussed prohibition on planting during the Nine Days and what it teaches about the nature of mourning and joy.

In Six Barleys were Wrapped an Enduring Legacy

Ezra Zuckerman Sivan examines the significance of the six barleys that Boaz gives Ruth in light of the story of Rachel, Leah, and the duda'im.

Yatziv Pitgam: Poetry as Talmud Commentary

How should we understand Yatziv Pitgam, the enigmatic poem recited in the Haftarah for the second day of Shavuot? Tzvi Novick’s close reading reveals it to be a paean to the Torah and those who study it.

Across the River

In this riveting short story, Leah Cypess retells a medieval Shavuot legend of how a Jewish community was saved from a deadly sorcerer.

Gleaning the Wisdom of Ruth

In advance of Shavuot, Stuart Halpern reviews Reading Ruth, a succinct but poignant new literary commentary on the Book of Ruth, by Leon Kass and his granddaughter Hannah Mandelbaum.