August 23, 2021

REVIEW: The Star and the Scepter

Unlike many other works exploring Israel’s international relations, Emmanuel Navon  does not begin with the founding of the nation or the emergence of political Zionism; instead, he starts with God’s selection of Abraham as the founding father of His great nation. This makes his book even more valuable, says Sruli Fruchter in his review of “The Star and the Scepter” (JPS).
August 19, 2021

The BEST: The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Andrew Rosenblatt writes on Max Weber’s “The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” for The BEST:  “While the Torah world may have little use for Protestant sects, the idea that religion is a primary driver of culture and that culture is a primary factor in the economy should concern any community leader.”
August 17, 2021

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Hetter Mekhira

One might claim that a discussion of the issues and controversies related to the heter mekhira, and the manner in which it is conducted, plays a special role in bringing that about. Revisit Daniel Z. Feldman’s survey of these issues as we await the imminent arrival of the Shemitta year 5782.
August 16, 2021

Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume

The Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume -- a special hardcover, book-length issue of TRADITION -- will arrive in a few weeks' time. Pre-order your copy now. The issue, edited by R. Jeffrey Saks, containing over 30 essays by leading figures in the world of Jewish life and ideas, focuses on the wide-ranging areas of Rabbi Lamm’s writing, assessing his lasting contributions to Jewish thought through the prism of his prolific works. View the Table of Contents and introduction.
August 12, 2021

The BEST: On Liberty

Samuel Lebens writes in The BEST: “John Stuart Mill’s moving and thorough defense of the freedom of speech, in which he describes the good that comes even from listening to false beliefs, can function as an important corrective to the peril of dogmatism.” 
August 9, 2021

New and Noteworthy Books

Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Biblical exegesis, the philosophy of R. Soloveitchik, practical tips for reading and davening well, and more.
August 5, 2021

The BEST: The Lion and the Unicorn

Nessa Liben writes on George Orwell’s vision for English society, “Exposure to alternative viewpoints does not make us less patriotic; it makes us more so. It reminds us to improve ourselves and our national collective identity, our patriotism.” This week in The BEST.
August 2, 2021

REVIEW: Tanakh of the Land of Israel: Samuel

Hayyim Angel reviews the second installment of “The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel” on the book of Samuel which “is written from an Orthodox perspective, utilizing contemporary scholarship as a tool for understanding God’s word.” Angel surveys the volume’s insights in the fields of linguistics, archeology, geography, and shows how these fields of wisdom enhance our understanding of Tanakh’s unique message."
July 29, 2021

The BEST: “I Have a Dream”

Writing for "The BEST" on MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, Zev Eleff suggests: Today, some Orthodox commentators take great pains to argue for the Jewish spark within Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. This impulse reduces the force and meaning of both Jewish and American sources. Instead, we ought to take important texts and materials at fuller depth, appreciating them on their own terms. Like King’s “I Have a Dream,” our traditions—certainly the Jewish ones, but the best of the American canon, too—ought to stand on their own without the support of cultural and political alchemy.