December 9, 2021

The BEST: The Will to Believe

William James’ essay “The Will to Believe” is a critique of purely evidential approaches to belief. In David Shatz’s reading, it offers a crucially relevant point about the place of emotions in choices about belief today and grants license to “go for it” – in this week’s “The BEST.”
December 7, 2021

Rupture and Reconstruction Revisited and Republished

The arrival of Haym Soloveitchik’s “Rupture and Reconstruction” in book form is noteworthy for its author’s response to those who have commented on what he wrote over a quarter-century ago, including TRADITION’s Fall 2019 symposium, “Rupture and Reconstruction Reconsidered” – now available as a free e-book.
December 3, 2021

Mrs. Cooperman’s Shabbat

Mrs. Cooperman wishes all readers of TRADITION a good Shabbos Rosh Hodesh Hannuka! Revisit her classic wisdom for this Shabbat in the timeless essay of our esteemed editor emeritus, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman.
December 2, 2021

The BEST: The Oxbow

Thomas Cole’s masterpiece landscape, “The Oxbow,” is a meditation on the balance and tension between untamed chaos and balanced order. In Emma Horowitz’s reading it also casts a ray of sunlight on the polarities of faith in the Divine and the impulse to human endeavor – in this week’s “The BEST.”
November 30, 2021

PODCAST: In Praise of Peshara

In “In Praise of Peshara,” R. Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg zt”l, outlines the many practical advantages of deciding Beit Din cases according to principles of equity or compromise, and not simply according to strict halakha (din). This essay is an excellent introduction to understand R. Zalman Nechemiah’s halakhic thought and offers insight to the mind of one of our generation’s most significant halakhists. In this episode of the TRADITION Podcast R. Yona Reiss and R. Daniel Z. Feldman discuss the article, unpack its ideas, and enable greater understanding of the issues.
November 28, 2021

Putting God at the Center: The Life of R. Gedalia Dov Schwartz 

R. Gedalia Dov Schwartz zt"l, late Av Beit Din of the Beit Din of America, and a mentor to the American rabbinate at large, led a God-centered life and inspired us to strive for one as well. Hanan Balk shares memories of R. Schwartz on his first yahrzeit, observed today.
November 25, 2021

The BEST: Alice’s Restaurant

This post is about Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice's Restaurant,” and it's about Arlo, and the Restaurant, but "Alice's Restaurant" is not about a restaurant. Instead, Rina Chaya Shamilov connects the Thanksgiving folk music classic to the Pesach story, charts a journey through its music, and questions finding a method for confronting injustice without anger. This Thanksgiving in “The BEST.”
November 23, 2021

Go, Go, Go Joseph

How Colorful Was Joseph’s Coat? Though many assume Jacob's gift to Joseph was “a coat of many colors,” a study of classical commentators and midrashic traditions reveals a spectrum of alternative interpretations. Analyzing these offers deeper insight into why it upset Joseph’s brothers to such a degree that they would plot to kill him! Sarah Rudolph explores...
November 22, 2021

REVIEW ESSAY: Rabbi in Buchenwald; Kabbalist in Montreal

Rabbinic biographies are often thinly disguised hagiographies designed to “inspire.” In reviewing two recent books that buck this trend, Zev Eleff shows how the biographies of R. Yudel Rosenberg and R. Herschel Schacter ask profound—and in their own way “inspiring”—questions about leading a Modern Orthodox life and leadership in Modern Orthodoxy.