December 10, 2023

Hanukka and Hellenizers in Hazal

In this TRADITION classic from our archives: Prof. Gerald Blidstein z"l offers possible explanations for Hazal’s suppression of the Jewish Hellenizers in the Hanukka story. Neither the Talmud nor the holiday prayers make reference to them even though the Book of Macabbees portrays Jewish Hellenizers as central to the story. Blidstein offers several tentative explanations for this omission including the possibility that Hazal did not want us to celebrate a civil war.
December 7, 2023

Alt+SHIFT: Aviezer Ravitzky

How empty is the old “empty wagon” metaphor for the religious-secular status quo in Israel? If both sides of the debate understand the other is here to stay, what options are open for finding a middle ground—especially as Jewish learning and culture should be valued by both? How much diversity can and should tolerance tolerate? Until a tragic injury, Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky was among Israel’s most prominent public intellectuals—Yitzchak Blau surveys some of Ravitzky’s writings on these subjects in Alt+SHIFT.
December 4, 2023

Faith in 2023 by 1967’s Light

Hannah Shapiro reflects upon a TRADITION symposium on the Six Day War, in light of the current conflict in Israel, in order to apply insights from the past to our situation. In weaving 1967 and 2023 together, words of encouragement can be derived and intellectual and spiritual challenges arise.
November 30, 2023

TRADITION QUESTIONS: Who Speaks To/For the Jews?

What lessons can be drawn from the November 14th March for Israel? In reviewing the history of rallies for Jewish causes in Washington, Chaim Strauchler sees themes that link these gatherings—but also identifies meaningful changes that reflect trends in both American society and in American Judaism.
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