TRADITION’s esteemed editor emeritus, Shalom Carmy, joins our ongoing conversation about the state of humanities, considering ways that religious life benefits from studying secular liberal arts. If the humanities are not flourishing in the gilded enclaves of Orthodoxy, it is not only financial motives at play: “I fear that the Orthodox community, like the secular world it too often resembles, avoids serious engagement with the humanities, for other reasons. The heavy hand of social conformity robs individuals of solitude and independence. And one salient marker of that conformism is a profound unease and distaste for individual or communal self-examination and soul-searching engendered by the encounter with a great humanities education.”
Moshe Kurtz writes on Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” – “Regardless of the promise of a life waiting on the other side, the pain of bereavement is real and sometimes overpowering. One can know that Rabbinic Judaism unequivocally believes in the immortality of the soul, but it is something else to fully internalize it into one’s psyche. Johnny Cash’s struggle to balance his faith commitments with his despondent emotional state is what makes this work of art both poignant and relatable for all people of faith.”
The TRADITION Podcast recently caught up with R. Shubert Spero, who just published “The Problematic Metaphors of Righteousness,” his 26th essay in our pages. We discussed the wide range of his philosophical interests over his long rabbinic and academic careers, the formative influences on his thought, and the central role Religious Zionism plays in his work.