“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne in “Meditation XVII.” Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz unpacks the depths of this classic prose poem and draws connections to the thought of Rabbi Sacks, who agreed that “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind.” This week in the Rabbi Sacks Bookshelves Project.
The recent discovery of several scraps of purple-dyed fabric from the times of David and Solomon opens a small but significant window into the lives of the people who lived in Eretz Yisrael in ancient times – Baruch Sterman and Judy Taubes Sterman explain.
By turning to R. Yosef Albo to explore principles of Jewish faith, Samuel Lebens provides an interesting presentation. However, Howard Wettstein suggests, Lebens accomplishes the truly noteworthy by bringing the mystical side of Jewish thought into contact with medieval and even current analytical philosophy.
Spinoza correctly identified the centrality of Jewish law for the survival of Judaism, but erred in thinking that eliminating it is the path to a moral society. Daniel Rynhold explains how R. Sacks showed that maintaining mitzvot and retaining particularity is the way to secure a just society – for Jews and for humanity in general.