October 24, 2022

The Flood Story Reconsidered

How are we meant to read the biblical Flood story? History or metaphor? This question was explored in numerous essays in the pages of TRADITION and reader responses over the course of a decade by Shubert Spero, David Shatz, and Joel Wolowelsky. Revisit and reconsider those articles as we prepare to read of the Flood again this Shabbat. 
October 20, 2022

REVIEW: America’s Book

Anyone who wishes to better understand the trajectory of American religious history and the origins of today’s contested religio-political order would find it helpful to begin with Mark A. Noll’s new volume, “America’s Book: The Rise and Decline of a Bible Civilization, 1794-1911.” Yisroel Ben-Porat, in a sweeping review of the volume, suggests that Orthodox Jews in particular might find it useful for thinking through our place in questions about religion-state relations.
October 13, 2022

Hakhel Revived or Reenacted?

With the arrival of Sukkot following Shemitta all minds are turned to the once-in-seven-year observance of the Hakhel ceremony in Jerusalem (or at least its symbolic reenactment). Nine Shemitot ago, in one of TRADITION's earliest issues, Rabbi Gersion Appel published two articles in our pages about the historical assembly and its potential revival in the then-new State of Israel.
October 9, 2022

TRADITION Fall 2022 Arrives

As the TRADITION office closes for the Sukkot holiday we leave you with news of the arrival of our latest issue – #54:4 (Fall 2022) has already landed in subscribers' mailboxes and offers plenty to keep them busy in the Sukka with this exceptionally engaging installment.
October 6, 2022

The Sukka: From Cradle to Grave 

Marc Eichenbaum incorporates ideas from John Bowlby's Attachment Theory to offer a novel perspective on the connection between the Yomim Noraim and Sukkot. Just as a mother cradles her child and provides nourishment and protection, the Sukka should be seen as a Divine embrace and safe haven after our spiritual rebirth that occurred on the Yomim Noraim. 
October 3, 2022

Yom Kippur and the Roll of the Dice

The goral (casting of lots) takes a central role on Yom Kippur – from the method the high priest used to select which goat should be sent to the desert, to the sailors’ use of goral to determine that Jonah was the cause of the storm. Some think goral reveals a divine truth, but David Curwin presents another perspective in which the goral is actually a random role of the dice which allows us to achieve our spiritual goals for the holiest of days.
October 2, 2022

How to End Yom Kippur

What does Rabbi Akiva’s famous teaching at the end of Yoma have to do with Yom Kippur? And how can it help us understand the purpose of the day? Shlomo Zuckier explores these questions with a literary reading of the final Mishna in Yoma. 
September 29, 2022

The BEST and Our Best Selves

Chaim Strauchler looks to Matthew Arnold and Rav Kook for the ultimate and integrated whole toward which “the best that has been thought and said” might lead—namely one’s best self. As” The BEST” column heads off for a hiatus, Strauchler reflects on what we have been doing in 150 installments and what we hope you’ve gained from the effort.
September 22, 2022


The TRADITION Podcast takes a look back at our “The BEST” column, marking 150 entries, and surveying some of the themes in general culture which potentially inspire us to live better. Marina Zilbergerts, Dov Lerner, and Chaim Strauchler discuss the challenges and opportunities of harnessing worldly culture in the service of religious life. They also consider questions of instrumentalism, the decline of the liberal arts, and the recent “New York Times” expose on Hasidic yeshivot.