November 30, 2023

TRADITION QUESTIONS: Who Speaks To/For the Jews?

What lessons can be drawn from the November 14th March for Israel? In reviewing the history of rallies for Jewish causes in Washington, Chaim Strauchler sees themes that link these gatherings—but also identifies meaningful changes that reflect trends in both American society and in American Judaism.
November 27, 2023

PODCAST: R. Emanuel Feldman Remembers Wars and Hopes for Jewish Revival

As we continue to wrestle with the state of anxiety for what comes next at this troubling and traumatic time in Israel and around the Jewish world the Tradition Podcast checks in with our editor emeritus Rabbi Emanuel Feldman. In this episode Jeffrey Saks talks with his distinguished predecessor about the current Gaza War in light of his memories of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War; the challenges to Zionism and religious Zionism going forward; and his cautious optimism for a renewed Jewish spirit when the fog clears and we emerge victorious.
November 23, 2023

Alt+SHIFT: Water, Creation, Immanence

R. Yakov Nagen’s prolific output includes books on the Mishna, spirituality, attitudes to other faiths, and a volume profiled here by Yitzchak Blau. Nagen combines academic tools with a search for religious meaning and he successfully integrates the worlds of mysticism and rationalism. This volume, beyond the specific thesis concerning the holiday of Sukkot, is methodologically interesting, arguing that philosophical explanations of mitzvot may seem like an overly speculative endeavor but demonstrating that we can utilize halakhic details to more rigorously establish a hashkafic interpretation.
November 21, 2023

Rabbi Sacks, Community, and Times of Crisis

We are anxious about an uncertain future and feel lonely as much of the world vilifies Israel and the Jewish people. These feelings are now the backdrop of many of our lives. While Israelis fight in Gaza, we all wrestle with the emotional agony of this war. Marc Eichenbaum explains that the wisdom of R. Jonathan Sacks (and much contemporary psychological research) teaches how to contend with our pain through embracing community.