June 19, 2022

TRADITION’s Book Endorsement Contest 

Before the launch of this year’s TRADITION editorial board summer book endorsements, enter our contest to predict the titles to appear and WIN A YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION to our print journal for yourself as a new or renewing subscriber, or to gift to someone else. 
June 16, 2022

The BEST: The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Rachel Sharansky Danziger writes on the value of appreciating common literary forms: By treating all myths and religious stories as variations on the same deeper psychological drama, Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” discards the question of their veracity, rendering them all equally true – or untrue. To accept this position is to reject the first commandment, Maimonides’ 13 principles of faith, and so much else besides. That said, Campbell’s methodology can still enrich our study of Tanakh.
June 12, 2022

PODCAST: Contemporary (Neo-)Hasidut and Modern Orthodoxy

In this episode of the TRADITION/Or Chadash series, Shlomo Zuckier discusses the presence of Hasidism in contemporary Modern Orthodox life. Alon Meltzer queries Zuckier about his contribution to TRADITION’s “Rabbi Lamm Memorial Volume” which analyzed R. Lamm's approach to Hasidut and how it formulated a key element in his manifesto of Torah u-Madda.
June 9, 2022

The BEST: Doubt 

Yitzchak Blau writes on the 2008 film “Doubt” and its depiction of authoritarian structures and sexual abuse: The Jewish community is not immune from this scourge. The processes of selecting and grooming victims, cover-ups in misguided attempts to protect institutions, and an inability to deal with this on a communal level transcend social and religious divides. This week in The BEST.
June 2, 2022

The BEST: Dialogues of Plato 

Sarah Rudolph writes on the ongoing “Jewish” relevance of Plato’s Dialogues: Socratic dialogue has echoes in Jewish tradition. We would do well to study and appreciate it as such. Jewish thought is rooted in questions; we dig into our texts and find ourselves full of questions. Our never-ending questions keep our oral and written traditions alive and relevant.
May 31, 2022

Leaps of Faith in Different Directions

David Curwin examines a new biography of Soren Kierkegaard and suggests that R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s understanding of the Danish philosopher’s life led him to be selective about which teachings to adopt.
May 29, 2022

PODCAST: The Absurdity of Extremism

In this episode of the TRADITION/Or Chadash series Jacquie Seemann Charak of Or Chadash in Sydney, Australia, questions our editor  Jeffrey Saks about  his recent essay in the Rabbi Norman Lamm memorial volume, “The Extremes Are More Consistent But Absurd,” which explored R. Lamm’s writings on religious moderation as the hallmark of our community.
May 26, 2022

The BEST: “Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant”

In The BEST Chaim Strauchler writes on Emily Dickinson and the function of art: For Dickinson, in her terse paradoxical style, art tells “all the truth” – but does so in a way that can be understood. A certain degree of falsehood – slant – must be included in effective truthful communication.
May 23, 2022

Rabbi Sacks’ Pluralism

Is it possible to be a religious pluralist without collapsing into some sort of post-modern rejection of absolute truth? Rabbi Jonathan Sacks advanced a distinctive set of answers to this question, but was often attacked by his critics as if he were undermining the extent to which our own tradition is in possession of the absolute truth. He was misunderstood to be endorsing a form of relativism or post-modernism. Samuel Lebens seeks to set the record straight…