When it comes to history, language, and liturgy, some are content to read what other scholars have written. Mitchell First’s inquisitiveness compels him to research the issues themselves, and share the results with the rest of us – to our benefit, says David Curwin in reviewing two new works from Kodesh Press.
Michael Sandel’s “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” offers a criticism of unfettered individualism, and does so in the language of liberalism itself. Sam Lebens, writing for The BEST, reminds us that R. Sacks realized more vividly than others that the communitarian critique of liberalism resonates deeply with Rabbinic sources because Judaism is a religion rooted in our tribal or national identity.
Unlike many other works exploring Israel’s international relations, Emmanuel Navon does not begin with the founding of the nation or the emergence of political Zionism; instead, he starts with God’s selection of Abraham as the founding father of His great nation. This makes his book even more valuable, says Sruli Fruchter in his review of “The Star and the Scepter” (JPS).
Andrew Rosenblatt writes on Max Weber’s “The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” for The BEST: “While the Torah world may have little use for Protestant sects, the idea that religion is a primary driver of culture and that culture is a primary factor in the economy should concern any community leader.”