June 21, 2021

Plague Weddings

Among the more bizarre (Jewish) events of our COVID days was a wedding held under a traditional bridal canopy in one of Bnai Brak’s cemeteries—a very old custom which was believed to potentially ward off the plague. Jeremy Brown explores the origins and surprising history of the unusual “Black Wedding.”
June 18, 2021

TRADITION’s Book Endorsements Contest

Win a year’s subscription to TRADITION’s print journal for yourself as a new or renewing subscriber or to gift to someone else by correctly predicting as many titles due to appear on our annual editorial board Summer Book Endorsements.
June 17, 2021

The BEST: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In which a book about Zen and motorcycles is less about either of those and turns out to be more of a Musar work reminding us to aim for Quality in our life and service of God. Todd Berman reads a contemporary classic in this week’s the BEST.
June 14, 2021

REVIEW: Rabbenu Tam

Today, 4 Tammuz (June 14), marks the 850th yahrzeit of Rabbenu Tam. Pinchas Roth’s review of Rami Reiner’s new book draws our attention to important new scholarship on the interpretation, halakhic legacy, and controversies of a monumental figure whose rulings and readings continue to impact Jewish law until the present day.
June 13, 2021

PODCAST: Eric Lawee’s “Rashi’s Commentary”

Eric Lawee and Jeffrey Saks consider how Rashi’s Torah commentary came to occupy its singular place in Jewish learning, and if it was inevitable or not – in the TRADITION Podcast.
June 10, 2021

The BEST: The Body Keeps the Score

Contemporary therapeutic wisdom about trauma offers insights to our post-COVID lives shows Noah Cheses in this week’s The BEST.
June 8, 2021

REVIEW: Greenberg’s Road Not Taken

The “road not taken” is an engaging framing device to animate the study of intellectual history. How would our community look different today if we had elevated alternative perspectives decades ago? David Wolkenfeld considers Modern Orthodoxy’s “fork in the road” moment and the contributions and legacy of Rabbi Yitz (Iriving) Greenberg.
June 7, 2021

REVIEW: Yiddish Letters

Rivkah Blau reviews a new collection of letters translated from Yiddish, which offers a view of Jewish life in 17th-century European Jewry.
June 3, 2021

The BEST: The Meaning of History 

Joe Kanofsky introduces us to the thought of Russian political philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, who serves as a model of the flaws in constraining the sweep of Jewish history to one philosophical or theological view.