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PODCAST: The Best

The TRADITION Podcast takes a look back at our “The BEST” column, marking 150 entries, and surveying some of the themes in general culture which potentially inspire us to live better. Marina Zilbergerts, Dov Lerner, and Chaim Strauchler discuss the challenges and opportunities of harnessing worldly culture in the service of religious life. They also consider questions of instrumentalism, the decline of the liberal arts, and the recent “New York Times” expose on Hasidic yeshivot. 


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Spring 2022 Open Access

TRADITION’s Spring 2022 is now available open access online. Read the recently unearthed, never-before published “Asmodeus Letter”; consider a comparison between Kuzari and Catholic philosophy; explore Ramban’s inventive marshaling of biblical metaphor; dive into the legends (and urban legends) of Napoleon’s reported meetings with great rabbis; study Rav Hutner’s psychological insights to human greatness — and more.


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The BEST: Grace Before Meat

Ephraim Fruchter writes on Charles Lamb’s “Grace Before Meat” for this week’s The BEST: If the essential aim of a benediction is appreciation, “Grace Before Meat” claims that the prosperous cannot hit the target. Only the poor and children can truly appreciate food’s value. How do the early 19th-century essayist’s ideas resonate with our own conception of blessings?


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PODCAST: Prozbul’s Disappearance and Resurgence

In advance of the once-in-seven-year signing of the prozbul, Shlomo Brody joins the TRADITION Podcast to discuss his recent TRADITION essay “The Curious Case of Prozbul’s Disappearance and Resurgence” – a fascinating test-case that raises interesting questions about how and if halakha adapts and evolves. 


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The BEST: The Wealth of Nations 

Chaim Strauchler writes on Adam Smith’s classic “The Wealth of Nations” for The BEST: Each person acting in his own self-interest “conquers” the world – as God tasked Adam I. With this ingenuity, humanity acting together constitutes “the invisible hand” – a combination of the human and something almost divine.


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New and Noteworthy Books

TRADITION’s seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Shabbat’s challenge and contribution to the modern world, mental health and halakha, Hebrew and Yiddish literature, the history of Talmud printing and Hasidic sermons, and more…. 


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The BEST: Saving Private Ryan

David Curwin, writing for The BEST, sees a life lesson in juxtaposing the films “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) with “The Irishman” (2019): “The end of each film, with the perspective of decades after those pivotal events, implies that it was the protagonists’ private lives, not their public roles, that really mattered.” 


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Rav Kook Archives

Today, 3 Elul, marks the 87th yahrzeit of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt”l. As one of the most significant Jewish thinkers of the modern era it is no surprise that his works have been analyzed, reviewed, and translated in the pages of TRADITION over the years. Visit our archives….