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.
The TRADITION Podcast takes a look back at our “The BEST” column, marking 150 entries, and surveying some of the themes in general culture which potentially inspire us to live better. Marina Zilbergerts, Dov Lerner, and Chaim Strauchler discuss the challenges and opportunities of harnessing worldly culture in the service of religious life. They also consider questions of instrumentalism, the decline of the liberal arts, and the recent “New York Times” expose on Hasidic yeshivot.
TRADITION's Spring 2022 is now available open access online. Read the recently unearthed, never-before published "Asmodeus Letter"; consider a comparison between Kuzari and Catholic philosophy; explore Ramban's inventive marshaling of biblical metaphor; dive into the legends (and urban legends) of Napoleon's reported meetings with great rabbis; study Rav Hutner's psychological insights to human greatness -- and more.
Ephraim Fruchter writes on Charles Lamb’s “Grace Before Meat” for this week’s The BEST: If the essential aim of a benediction is appreciation, “Grace Before Meat” claims that the prosperous cannot hit the target. Only the poor and children can truly appreciate food’s value. How do the early 19th-century essayist’s ideas resonate with our own conception of blessings?