The goral (casting of lots) takes a central role on Yom Kippur – from the method the high priest used to select which goat should be sent to the desert, to the sailors’ use of goral to determine that Jonah was the cause of the storm. Some think goral reveals a divine truth, but David Curwin presents another perspective in which the goral is actually a random role of the dice which allows us to achieve our spiritual goals for the holiest of days.
What does Rabbi Akiva’s famous teaching at the end of Yoma have to do with Yom Kippur? And how can it help us understand the purpose of the day? Shlomo Zuckier explores these questions with a literary reading of the final Mishna in Yoma.
Chaim Strauchler looks to Matthew Arnold and Rav Kook for the ultimate and integrated whole toward which “the best that has been thought and said” might lead—namely one’s best self. As” The BEST” column heads off for a hiatus, Strauchler reflects on what we have been doing in 150 installments and what we hope you’ve gained from the effort.