September 2, 2021

2021 High Holiday Reader

TRADITION shares this year’s High Holiday Reader dedicated to the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l. Rosh Hashana is a time to think broadly of Hashem’s world and our place within it and Rabbi Sacks’ model is a most worthwhile framework for such thinking. In these pages you will encounter our writers presenting “The BEST” that has been thought and said in a wide array of cultural objects, and understand how their consumption is potentially profitable to us as thinking, spiritual and religious beings. 
August 30, 2021

REVIEW: Insights into Hebrew, Holidays, History & Liturgy

When it comes to history, language, and liturgy, some are content to read what other scholars have written. Mitchell First’s inquisitiveness compels him to research the issues themselves, and share the results with the rest of us – to our benefit, says David Curwin in reviewing two new works from Kodesh Press.
August 26, 2021

The BEST: Liberalism and the Limits of Justice 

Michael Sandel’s “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” offers a criticism of unfettered individualism, and does so in the language of liberalism itself. Sam Lebens, writing for The BEST, reminds us that R. Sacks realized more vividly than others that the communitarian critique of liberalism resonates deeply with Rabbinic sources because Judaism is a religion rooted in our tribal or national identity.
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


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.