At the beginning of the previous century, R. Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook called for expanding the yeshiva curriculum to include Tanakh, Aggada, and Mahshava alongside the traditional fare of the halakhic sections of Talmud study. This shift went together with the Jewish people’s return to the Land of Israel where our nation could live a more holistic, less fragmented existence, one in which all aspects of experience link together in a grand religious framework (Iggerot ha-Ra’aya I, #103; Orot ha-Torah 13:4). Those interested in a comprehensive and unified existence would want to study the totality of Torah knowledge. In time, our community has seen the partial fulfillment of Rav Kook’s vision. During the latter part of the twentieth century we witnessed renewed energies in the larger world of Torah, and the investment of spiritual and intellectual capital in previously underdeveloped areas of Torah study, especially in the Jewish state.
TRADITION’s “Sources & Resources” column, under the editorship of Yitzchak Blau, has become a regular feature of our journal over the last number of years. This column reflects the broader range of Torah study taking place in yeshivot and midrashot, and in our schools and synagogues. It consists of relatively shorter essays on Tanakh and Aggada and often introduces our readership to new voices and novel interpretive tools.
While we recommend reading all of these columns, we highlight here a few outstanding examples. Yael Ziegler, a very popular Tanakh teacher, offers an excellent analysis of Moses’ emerging identity. Jonathan Grossman, a significant figure in the Israeli Tanakh scene, applies his literary sensitivity to a legal section in Leviticus. Moving to the world of Aggada, Yonatan Feintuch shows the benefits of considering the interplay between adjacent halakhic and aggadic Talmudic texts.