A Bride for One Night Talmud Tales

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  • Ruth Calderon (author)
  • Ilana Kurshan (translator)
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About the Book

Ruth Calderon has recently electrified the Jewish world with her teachings of talmudic texts. In this volume, her first to appear in English, she offers a fascinating window into some of the liveliest and most colorful stories in the Talmud. Calderon rewrites talmudic tales as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters as the woman who risks her life for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a wife who dresses as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband in their garden. Breathing new life into an ancient text, A Bride for One Night offers a surprising and provocative read, both for anyone already intimate with the Talmud and for anyone interested in one of the most influential works of Jewish literature.


A Bride for One Night is a treasure, and made me even more eager to study Talmud.

— Edgar Bronfman

Calderon’s retelling of tales of the Talmud will be healing for all those who have felt pushed to the Talmud’s margins, and exciting for those who have loved the Talmud’s gift for a good story.

— Rabbi Jill Hammer, author of Sisters at Sinai and The Jewish Book of Days

Ruth Calderon may very well be the future of Israel. And, if it be so, she will take along the Torah on her historic journey. The same Torah that God gave to “all” Jews. For such is her message. 

— Rabbi Steven Kushner, Rabbi, Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield, NJ.

JPS is committed to bringing important works of Jewish thought published in Hebrew to the English-reading world. We are delighted to be doing so for Ruth Calderon as she reads the Talmud “barefoot” and brings its sages to life in a bold new way.

— Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz, JPS Director

A welcome step in encouraging Jews of all stripes to engage with texts that hold values we wish to live by, and to find those values there. 

— Beth Kissileff, Tablet Magazine

Calderon’s interpretation of classic Talmudic literature is like a breath of fresh spring air clearing out the cobwebs and is sure to be enjoyed by scholars and anyone interested in learning more about the rich Jewish heritage.

— Sandy Amazeen, Monsters & Critics

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon, an Israeli with a PhD in Talmud, was elected to the Knesset in January 2013. She quickly rose to celebrity status for her passion to bring Talmud and Jewish texts to all Jews regardless of religious observance or affiliation. She is the founder of two institutions devoted to the study of sacred texts: Alma, Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv and Elul Beit Midrash in Jerusalem.

View Dr. Calderon’s inaugural speech to Knesset which became a YouTube sensation.

Read how Dr. Calderon brought Talmud study to the Knesset.

Read a rabbi’s personal reflection on Calderon’s election to Knesset by Rabbi Steven Kushner, Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield, NJ.

Ilana Kurshan

Ilana Kurshan is the books editor of Lilith magazine. She is the author of Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? as well as several articles about Talmud, literature, and Jewish life.

Book Reviews


  • View interview with author Ruth Calderon on The Jewish Channel.

  • View video of author Ruth Calderon at The JPS/Skirball Author Series at the Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center in New York City.

Study Guides


Read an Excerpt.

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