May 9, 2022

New and Noteworthy Books

Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Rav Kook; halakha, responsa, and history; Torah from heaven and revelation reexamined; and more…
May 5, 2022

The BEST: A Letter Concerning Toleration

For Yom HaAtzmaut, TraditionOnline’s The BEST shares Rafi Eis’ application of John Locke’s “A Letter Concerning Toleration” to a dispute between Rabbis Sacks and Riskin concerning the separation of religion and state: When “religion enters politics, it becomes a divisive, not a uniting, force. If it seeks power, it will forfeit influence” vs. “Without power, how can the chosen people protect the powerless against their exploiters?”
May 4, 2022

The Rav on Jewish Sovereignty 1948

As we prepare to observe Yom HaAtzmut TRADITION is pleased to release this open-access version of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s “Jewish Sovereignty and the Redemption of the Shekhina” – a manuscript originally prepared in Yiddish and delivered by the Rav at the 1948 Mizrachi Convention, just weeks after the establishment of the State of Israel.
May 2, 2022

REVIEW: Nishmat Ha-Bayit

The arrival of the English edition of collected halakhic writing by Nishmat’s Yoetzot Halacha addressing the most sensitive areas in women’s halakhic living is a welcome addition to the Jewish bookshelf and the tables of batei midrash (now populated by women as well as by men).
April 28, 2022

The BEST: Yom HaShoah Columns

As we mark Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) sample these relevant recent offerings from “The BEST” on Holocaust literature that engages our hearts, minds, and memories: Jeffrey Saks and Yitzchak Blau on Primo Levi; Shay Charka on Spiegelman’s “Maus.”
April 24, 2022

REVIEW: Bridging Tradition

A book like Haim Jachter’s “Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews” may not have been necessary in the Jewish communities of yesteryear, writes Sina Kahen in his review. But with the rise of globalization, mass migration, and the re-establishment of the State of Israel, we have fortunately witnessed the merging of diverse branches of the Jewish tree. This well-sourced and lucid work presents rich and clear discussion on topics that span the Shulhan Arukh.
April 14, 2022

TRADITION Passover Archives

As the TRADITION editorial office closes for Passover, we leave you with these highlights from our 64 years of archived essays. Enjoy this reading over Yom Tov – we hope all our readers will be celebrating a Hag Kasher veSameah in good health and in the company of loved ones.
April 13, 2022

Pesach and Our Master’s Voice

When we left Egypt, we did not simply throw off the yoke of the Egyptians; we rethought our relationship with the species that “domesticated us,” suggests Chaim Strauchler. To commemorate that moment every year, we discard all the wheat (and the other four classic species of grain) that has not been prepared as matza. For the time span of seven or eight days, we declare our dominion over “our owner,” by controlling wheat consumption in a radical way.
April 12, 2022

The Sacks Haggada: Judaism Begins at Home

Erica Brown considers why R. Jonathan Sacks introduces his Haggada with an emphasis on the family as the heart of the Passover experience. “R. Sacks makes the case that the Seder, what he calls the oldest of Jewish rituals, takes place at home because Judaism attaches immense significance to the family.” Read the review essay and an excerpted chapter from “The Jonathan Sacks Haggada.”