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.
February 7, 2021

REVIEW: The Principles of Judaism

By turning to R. Yosef Albo to explore principles of Jewish faith, Samuel Lebens provides an interesting presentation. However, Howard Wettstein suggests, Lebens accomplishes the truly noteworthy by bringing the mystical side of Jewish thought into contact with medieval and even current analytical philosophy.
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.