Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Biblical exegesis, the philosophy of R. Soloveitchik, practical tips for reading and davening well, and more.
Nessa Liben writes on George Orwell’s vision for English society, “Exposure to alternative viewpoints does not make us less patriotic; it makes us more so. It reminds us to improve ourselves and our national collective identity, our patriotism.” This week in The BEST.
Hayyim Angel reviews the second installment of “The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel” on the book of Samuel which “is written from an Orthodox perspective, utilizing contemporary scholarship as a tool for understanding God’s word.” Angel surveys the volume’s insights in the fields of linguistics, archeology, geography, and shows how these fields of wisdom enhance our understanding of Tanakh’s unique message."
Writing for "The BEST" on MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, Zev Eleff suggests: Today, some Orthodox commentators take great pains to argue for the Jewish spark within Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. This impulse reduces the force and meaning of both Jewish and American sources. Instead, we ought to take important texts and materials at fuller depth, appreciating them on their own terms. Like King’s “I Have a Dream,” our traditions—certainly the Jewish ones, but the best of the American canon, too—ought to stand on their own without the support of cultural and political alchemy.