In reviewing R. Yoel Bin-Nun’s “Zakhor veShamor,” Yitzchak Blau demonstrates how the book’s topic plays to the author’s strengths and interests, as it explores the Jewish calendar and holiday cycle through the prism of the agricultural reality in the Land of Israel. In its pages we encounter one of our era’s greatest teachers of Tanakh apply his fertile mind to scripture, Jewish history, and our current situation.
Reviewing the poetry of Yehoshua November, Rivka Krause identifies themes central to the religious quest: “Life is filled with pains both great and small, yet we are forced to live with purpose.” Reminding us of R. Aharon Lichtenstein’s charge that as religious individuals, poetry and literature occupy a space of particular importance in the shaping of our consciousness, Krause draws our attention to November’s work—for its aesthetic charm as well as its potential contribution to our spiritual goals.
Prof. Shalom Rosenberg z”l, who passed away two weeks ago, taught Jewish philosophy at Hebrew University and was a public intellectual and an important voice in the Religious Zionist world. Reviewing some of his essays for this week’s Alt+SHIFT, Yitzchak Blau offers an appreciation for Rosenberg’s contribution to the intellectual atmosphere of our community.
TRADITION’s Winter 2021 issue featured Avivah Zornberg’s essay, “On Love, Holiness, and the Other,” which explored the “command to aspire” as an ethical imperative. That essay has now appeared as part of a larger chapter in her most recent book, “The Hidden Order of Intimacy: Reflections on the Book of Leviticus” (Schocken). As we commence our annual reading of Leviticus the TRADITION Podcast spoke with Zornberg about her new book, the intellectual “atmosphere” she breathes in order to produce works of Torah scholarship that bring together such wide-ranging voices, and the troubling state of the study of the humanities in the world today and within Jewish learning in particular.