August 11, 2022

The BEST: “Dean Town” by Vulfpeck

Gershon Albert writes on what we can learn from a particular funk-band: Vulfpeck has mastered the art of creating culture. Every part of the musical experience is considered, from cinematographic decisions that focus on 70s video nostalgia, to self-made fonts and minimalist instruments. These elements all contribute to a sense of communal belonging. Those of us who are tasked with creating sense of belonging for Jewish institutions can learn from this approach to culture, using elements like language, aesthetics, and “shtick.”
August 6, 2022

The Midrashic Filling of Eikha’s Void

Certain that this will provide a meaningful read for Tisha B’Av we share Dr. Yael Ziegler’s essay “The Midrashic Filling of Eikha’s Void.” This essay appeared in TRADITION’s Summer 2020 issue and subsequently in Dr. Ziegler's "Lamentations: Faith in a Turbulent World." 
August 4, 2022

The BEST: Crime and Punishment

Through Raskolnikov’s narrative, Dostoevsky engages with deep philosophical questions regarding the relationship between tradition, rationality, and the individual. The strategy at use in “Crime and Punishment” is especially relevant to Orthodox Jews facing moral challenges today. By carefully painting the mindset of his protagonist, Dostoevsky argues that social and moral traditions and obligations ought not to be disposed of – explains Natan Levin in this week’s The BEST.
August 1, 2022

REVIEW: A New Edition of Rambam’s Guide

A new edition of the classic Hebrew translation of Rambam’s “Guide for the Perplexed” has a lot to recommend it, says Daniel Korobkin in his review. These include punctuation, glossary of technical terms, and useful indices. But, the editor’s demarcating the “philosophical” from the “pure Torah” content he does a disservice to the very task Rambam set for himself – and to contemporary students of the Guide.