Rabbinic biographies are often thinly disguised hagiographies designed to “inspire.” In reviewing two recent books that buck this trend, Zev Eleff shows how the biographies of R. Yudel Rosenberg and R. Herschel Schacter ask profound—and in their own way “inspiring”—questions about leading a Modern Orthodox life and leadership in Modern Orthodoxy.
The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik is an erudite polymath, and his elegant essays are a source of astute acumen, offering valuable insight and a model of superb writing. Yitzchak Blau’s offers a reader’s guide in this week’s “The BEST.”
What was life like for little Dina in the household of Jacob? What exactly was she seeking when she embarked on her excursion? What actually happened to Dina that day? After Dina was saved, what happened to her? Dan Jacobson considers these questions in offering a new understanding of the Dina story which sheds light not only on the Biblical text but also on the experience of sexual abuse victims through the ages.