August 26, 2021
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
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
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
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
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
August 5, 2021
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
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."