May 29, 2022

PODCAST: The Absurdity of Extremism

In this episode of the TRADITION/Or Chadash series Jacquie Seemann Charak of Or Chadash in Sydney, Australia, questions our editor  Jeffrey Saks about  his recent essay in the Rabbi Norman Lamm memorial volume, “The Extremes Are More Consistent But Absurd,” which explored R. Lamm’s writings on religious moderation as the hallmark of our community.
May 26, 2022

The BEST: “Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant”

In The BEST Chaim Strauchler writes on Emily Dickinson and the function of art: For Dickinson, in her terse paradoxical style, art tells “all the truth” – but does so in a way that can be understood. A certain degree of falsehood – slant – must be included in effective truthful communication.
May 23, 2022

Rabbi Sacks’ Pluralism

Is it possible to be a religious pluralist without collapsing into some sort of post-modern rejection of absolute truth? Rabbi Jonathan Sacks advanced a distinctive set of answers to this question, but was often attacked by his critics as if he were undermining the extent to which our own tradition is in possession of the absolute truth. He was misunderstood to be endorsing a form of relativism or post-modernism. Samuel Lebens seeks to set the record straight…
May 19, 2022

The Byzantine Prehistory of Lag ba-Omer

The origins of the minor Jewish festival of Lag ba-Omer, celebrated today, are shrouded in mystery. This article by Aton Holzer, which appeared in TRADITION (Spring 2020), speculates that the origin of the holiday actually lies in the laying of the cornerstone of the Julianic Temple in 363 CE in Jerusalem.
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