We are surrounded by irritants and triggers that fracture our attention; along with information overload, we are overwhelmed with pings, lights, and other technological spears that goad us to pay them mind. This is a serious challenge for the life of the spirit, which demands focus and kavvana. A new book about Christian monks in late Antiquity and medieval times argues that these hermits and seekers were obsessed with the issue of distraction. Ariel Evan Mayse demands we pay attention, to this new book, “The Wandering Mind,” and helps us focus on parallel teachings in our own tradition, from Hasidism and mysticism, that may help our minds wonder more and wander less.
R. Ilay Ofran of Kibbutz Yavneh, head of the mekhina Ruah haSadeh, and a psychologist, has become an important voice in the Religious Zionist community. His recent book, profiled by Yitzchak Blau in this week’s Alt+SHIFT, addresses the challenges involved in maintaining our religious tradition in the contemporary world.
Before the launch of this year’s TRADITION editorial board summer book endorsements, enter our contest to predict the titles to appear and WIN A YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION to our print journal for yourself as a new or renewing subscriber, or to gift to someone else.
Among the papers presented at the recent Tradition Today Summit was a fascinating item co-authored by Avital Chizik-Goldschmidt and Chaim Saiman, “Material Success and the Rise of ‘Modern, Orthodoxy’” – in which a lot rides on the title’s enigmatic comma. In this episode of our podcast, Jeffrey Saks chats with Saiman about the paper, and the unique and curious ways in which the markers of Orthodoxy’s material aspirations each respond to the halakhic requirements and religious aspirations of persons who live fully within Orthodoxy and who are invested in its continuity.