January 13, 2022

The BEST: A City Upon a Hill

Yisroel Ben-Porat profiles John Winthrop’s 1630 sermon “A Modell of Christian Charity” and its relevance to the American Jewish story: “Like the Puritans in New England, we too see ourselves as a small and distant minority meant to live exemplary lives as a light unto the nations. It is easy to read ourselves into Winthrop’s words, to hear his call for unity as a reminder of the values of tzedaka, ahdut, hesed, and other traits toward others.”
January 10, 2022

Man as an Enigma in Modern Jewish Thought

Rav Kook and R. Soloveitchik both viewed mankind as an enigmatic mystery; one saw man as paradoxical in his very nature, the other identifies the dialectical tension in his existence as the source. Natan Oliff explores…
January 6, 2022

Great Books and “The BEST” Books

There’s an interesting debate raging through the imperiled halls of the Ivy League’s humanities departments -- and it has special meaning for Modern Orthodoxy as a religious community that has classically valued the encounter with worldly, humanistic wisdom.  As the relationship of those two realms of wisdom, often framed around the concept of Torah u-Madda, is receiving renewed ideological and institutional reassessment, TRADITION's editor Jeffrey Saks takes note of trends in general higher education and society. This column is the first in a projected series exploring this topic and its importance in the coming months. 
January 3, 2022

Divrei Shalom e-Book

R. Shalom Carmy has been one of the most articulate and insightful voices in our community for decades and his editor’s columns in TRADITION between 2005-2019 provide an accessible window into the thought of a profound thinker. “Divrei Shalom” is now available from TRADITION as a free e-book for download.
December 30, 2021

The BEST: One of Us

Sarah Golubtchik finds in Eric Bazilian’s song “One of Us” a positive theological exercise with potential to deeply impact the development of one’s religious persona.
December 28, 2021

New and Noteworthy Books

TRADITION’s seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning.
December 26, 2021

REVIEW: A Guide of the Guide

A new Guide to the “Guide of the Perplexed” offers much to students of Rambam’s enduring classic – and is a cause to reconsider why each generation’s perplexed keep returning to that 12th-century text. Daniel Korobkin review’s Ben Zion Katz’s new “Student’s Companion to The Guide of the Perplexed.”
December 23, 2021

The BEST: Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” is an enduring and eloquent examination of that most American of virtues: individualism. Since the essential human being is the private self, how do we square the essay's teachings with a religious life of community and contribution to the other? Jeffrey Saks re-reads “Self-Reliance,” with its echoes in the Rav and the Reb, in this week’s The BEST.
December 21, 2021

REVIEW: Rabbi Ido Pachter’s Utopian Dream

Ido Pachter’s recent Hebrew manifesto “Diversity in Judaism” puts forth an interesting, if not problematic, vision for the place of halakha in modern Israeli society. Avi Baumol applauds Pachter’s push to create a fairer halakhic system—but cautions that reaching for utopia may lead to a far more dystopian result.