Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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How Silver Was Used for Payment

Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah for 400 silver shekels. Biblical phrases, archaeological finds, and chemical analysis come together to paint a portrait of how early trade using silver functioned before the invention of coins.[1]

Tzilla Eshel



What Is Wrong with Charging Interest?

The Torah prohibits lending to poor people with interest. Why did Jewish law include business loans and how did this effect the law’s original purpose?


Michael L. Satlow



Is There a Consensus That a Census Causes a Plague?

Census is a necessary and standard procedure for governing. Indeed, the Bible contains numerous stories of censuses that are mundane and unproblematic. Only two texts suggest otherwise: Exodus 30, and 2 Samuel 24 (=1 Chronicles 21), a census by King David.[1]


Shira Golani



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