The Purpose of Ritual

The Purpose of Ritual

Aug 21, 2015 By Richard Kalmin | Commentary | Shofetim

Deuteronomy 21:1-9 describes the ritual performed when a murder victim is discovered in the open field and the perpetrator is unknown. The elders of the city closest to the body ask God to absolve Israel from bloodguilt by accepting, in place of the murderer, a heifer killed as expiation for the crime. This ritual serves as the backdrop of the Tosefta’s chilling story about the Temple in Jerusalem.

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Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context

Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context

Jan 22, 2015 By Richard Kalmin | Public Event audio

How do Talmudic narratives reflect the commonalities among Jewish, Roman, Christian, and Pagan Traditions?

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Who’s the Hero and Who’s the Villain?

Who’s the Hero and Who’s the Villain?

Oct 10, 2012 By Richard Kalmin | Commentary | Bereishit

To state things up front, my claim is that Adam and Eve did not just undergo a fall, but also a significant rise; to make that claim, I’m going to argue that two of the main characters, the snake and God, have often been misunderstood. The snake has gotten a bum rap, and God has usually gotten off much too easily.

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