Some Literary, Scholarly & Halachic Perspectives on Medieval Ashkenazi Attitudes Toward Martyrdom

Available at the Tradition Seforim Blog, courtesy of Dan Rabinowitz. Update: Now at the independent Seforim Blog.

Murder, Foul and Not So Foul

Daniel J. Kevles tells us that poison has been a historically popular means of murder for women1: Whether or not Lucrezia Borgia used poison, the weapon was a great equalizer. Murder required administering a poison in repeated or large doses, tasks that women could conveniently perform since they were trusted with the preparation of food …

King Hamlet Revisited

In last week’s Parshah we read about the laws of the Goel Hadam. I recently cited this excerpt from Hamlet, in which the Ghost demands that Hamlet accept the role of Goel Hadam with respect to his murder, to which the latter enthusiastically acquiesces: Ghost List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear …