Israeli Religious-Zionist ideologues and educators spend enormous energy attacking “postmodernism,” but the postmodernism they critique doesn’t actually exist. Yoel Finkelman wonders why so much time and energy is expended citing imaginary opponents when there are actual serious intellectual concerns that need to be addressed?
Postmodernism, deconstruction, and midrashic readings help us make sense of the enigmatic tale of the Tower of Babel – read in synagogues this Shabbat. Miriam Feldmann Kaye marshals the thought of Jacques Derrida and Jonathan Sacks to construct meaning out of the confusion wrought through the bilbul at Bavel.
How are we meant to read the biblical Flood story? History or metaphor? This question was explored in numerous essays in the pages of TRADITION and reader responses over the course of a decade by Shubert Spero, David Shatz, and Joel Wolowelsky. Revisit and reconsider those articles as we prepare to read of the Flood again this Shabbat.
Anyone who wishes to better understand the trajectory of American religious history and the origins of today’s contested religio-political order would find it helpful to begin with Mark A. Noll’s new volume, “America’s Book: The Rise and Decline of a Bible Civilization, 1794-1911.” Yisroel Ben-Porat, in a sweeping review of the volume, suggests that Orthodox Jews in particular might find it useful for thinking through our place in questions about religion-state relations.