Tova Warburg Sinensky reads R. Norman Lamm’s classic work “A Hedge of Roses” and demonstrates how her grandfather’s 1966 overview of the laws of Jewish family purity is much more than a defense of a once-neglected halakha. In fact, it is a subtle and profound philosophical treatise about how Jewish law serves to protect loving relationships, including, but not limited to, the marital union.
The arrival of a large tribute volume is usually noteworthy, both for the potentially significant writing and scholarship it will contain, and for helping us frame the accomplishments of the festschrift’s honoree. The recent publication of “Hokhma LiShlomo: Essays in Honor of Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin” delivers on both counts, says Yitzchak Blau in reviewing the book. “This volume, honoring a rabbi with a distinguished resume, contains enough variety and interest to merit a worthwhile place on our bookshelves. The topics covered successfully convey the range of accomplishment of the honoree.”
Chaim Brovender writes on the value of art as he interprets two works by Vermeer: “Surely these ideas can be stated in religious language and are found in the words of Hazal. But not everyone can appreciate the wonder in the world through the word, and not everyone can appreciate the love that is expressed in creation through the use of language. Vermeer enables us to look upon these notions through an amazing representation of reality.”
Joining the conversation on the state of the humanities in the world and within Orthodoxy in particular, Chaim Waxman responds to Menachem Kellner, bringing the sociologist’s skills to sound a pessimistic note while reminding readers “Ya gotta believe!”