February 4, 2021

The BEST: Spinoza

Spinoza correctly identified the centrality of Jewish law for the survival of Judaism, but erred in thinking that eliminating it is the path to a moral society. Daniel Rynhold explains how R. Sacks showed that maintaining mitzvot and retaining particularity is the way to secure a just society – for Jews and for humanity in general. 
February 2, 2021

Fackenheim and the Shoah in Contemporary Jewish Thought

Emil Fackenheim, known for his formulation of the “614th commandment” (never grant Hitler a posthumous victory) was an important but controversial Jewish thinker. Daniel Korobkin reviews a new book exploring Fackenheim’s thought and its enduring message for contemporary Judaism.
January 31, 2021

PODCAST: Decision-Making in Acute Critical Illness

The most recent issue of TRADITION contains “A Halakhic Framework for Decision-Making in Acute Critical Illness” by Judah Goldberg, which explores the array of complicated medical decision making required in difficult, traumatic circumstances. Rabbis Hershel Schachter and Mordechai Willig penned a “Rabbinic Postscript” which appears as an appendix to the article. Judah Goldberg joins the TRADITION Podcast to discuss his proposal.
January 28, 2021

The BEST: Bowling Alone

Robert Putnam’s well-known “Bowling Alone” is among the most cited works in the writings of Rabbi Sacks. Johnny Solomon explains how the two thinker’s ideas on civil society and social disconnection overlap. 
January 24, 2021

Orthodoxy and the Scholem Moment

The world of Jewish studies is experiencing a “Gershom Scholem Moment” with a slew of books and studies published on the life and legacy of the path-breaking Kabbalah scholar. Zvi Leshem suggests that understanding this phenomenon can help us understand some major trends in contemporary Orthodoxy.
January 21, 2021

The BEST: Language, Truth and Logic

Daniel Rynhold shows how R. Sacks identified collective structures such as religious traditions as that which creates social meanings giving reasons to pursue one course over another. In doing so R. Sacks restores the link between ethics and reason, reading against a classic essay by philosopher A.J. Ayer – This week in “The Rabbi Sacks Bookshelves Project.”
January 20, 2021

PODCAST: Covenantal Community

Daniel Friedman and Chaim Strauchler discuss Richard Niebuhr’s classical essay, "The Idea of Covenant in American Democracy,” asking what it implies for the universal value of civil society, and consider ts particular resonance for the current political moment as filtered through the writings of R. Sacks.
January 18, 2021

Summer 2020 Open Access

With the arrival of our most recent issue, TRADITION’s Summer 2020 issue is now open access. 
January 14, 2021

The BEST: “The Idea of Covenant in American Democracy”

Daniel Friedman reads H. Richard Niebuhr’s classical essay, asking what it implies for the universal value of civil society – a new entry in the R. Sacks Bookshelves Project, presented in cooperation with the London School of Jewish Studies.