March 7, 2021

The Jonathan 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.”
March 4, 2021

The BEST: Democracy in America

R. Sacks observed the United States in the spirit of Alexis de Tocqueville – admiring its institutions but knowing he had a role in helping Americans (and citizens of the world) navigate liberal democracy, the market economy, and ever-advancing science and technology. Stuart Halpern presents “Democracy in America” in this week’s R. Sacks Bookshelves Project.
March 2, 2021

The Surprising Endurance of Va-Yoel Moshe’s Antizionism

“VaYoel Moshe” is the most long-lasting Antizionist tract. Understanding its impact is toed up with knowing something about its author, R. Yoel Teitelbaum. A new biography sheds light on the Satmar Rebbe and his work.
February 25, 2021

The BEST: Leonard Cohen

Daniel Rose explains the impact of Leonard Cohen’s music on R. Sacks -- for the R. Sacks Bookshelves Project. Hallelujah!
February 22, 2021

LETTER: Decision-Making in Acute Critical Illness

A response to our recent “A Halakhic Framework in Acute Critical Illness” by Judah Goldberg, and its rabbinic postscript by Rabbis Hershel Schachter and Mordechai Willig. Does emerging evidence require us to think differently about the effects of hydration, nutrition, and oxygen at the end of life?
February 18, 2021

The BEST: The Hebrew Republic

How are Jewish texts the overlooked and underappreciated sources of enlightenment political thought? Rafi Zarum shares with us R. Sacks’ reading of Eric Nelson’s “The Hebrew Republic” – this week in the Sacks Bookshelves Project.
February 15, 2021

REVIEW: Authentically Orthodox

How did American Orthodoxy in the twentieth century search out authentic expressions of Jewish life and culture? Partially by measuring its religious experiences against various expressions of Americanism. Yaakov Bieler reviews Zev Eleff’s “Authentically Orthodox."
February 11, 2021

The BEST: “Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions”

“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne in “Meditation XVII.” Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz unpacks the depths of this classic prose poem and draws connections to the thought of Rabbi Sacks, who agreed that “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind.” This week in the Rabbi Sacks Bookshelves Project.
February 9, 2021

Telltale Textiles from Biblical Times

The recent discovery of several scraps of purple-dyed fabric from the times of David and Solomon opens a small but significant window into the lives of the people who lived in Eretz Yisrael in ancient times – Baruch Sterman and Judy Taubes Sterman explain.