April 11, 2022

Putting the Seder in Order

The opening sections of the Haggada seem to lack the organizing structure that characterizes the Seder. At first glance, the opening anecdotes and stories are jarringly disjointed and chaotic. But Marc Herman shows that, upon closer analysis, the beginning of the Haggada can be read as a how-to manual for the fulfillment of the commandment to recount the Exodus from Egypt.
April 10, 2022

Reader Response: Cynthia Ozick

The distinguished author Cynthia Ozick responds to Sarah Rindner Blum's recent essay "Living Antiquities: Ozick, Great Books & Judaism" (TraditionOnline) -- part of TraditionOnline'e ongoing series exploring the role of the classics in contemporary religious life.
April 7, 2022

Spring 2022 Arrives

TRADITION's Spring 2022 issue has arrived -- making its way to subscribers' snailboxes now.
April 5, 2022

REVIEW: Beyond a Code of Jewish Law

Simcha Fishbane’s new book sets out to understand how Hayei Adam went from being a widely popular halakhic work among laymen, although largely ignored by the rabbinic establishment of its day, to a paradoxical mirror status in our own. Gidon Rothstein reviews…
April 3, 2022

The Royal Table

Surveying the mid-twentieth century American Jewish community from his pulpit, R. Norman Lamm mined the Passover story for two purposes – to make the case for royal humility, a constant vacillation between the confidence of freedom and the modesty of servitude, and as a call for a renewed and passionate Jewish observance. Stuart W. Halpern examines these themes as reflected in R. Lamm’s “The Royal Table.”
March 31, 2022

The BEST: An Experiment in Criticism

Yitzchak Blau writes on C.S. Lewis’ “An Experiment in Criticism” for The BEST: “Literature does provide pleasure, but it surely does more than that. It opens readers to new horizons, inspires them to analyze ideas, and connects them to a more profound sense of the good. If so, a poem must both be and mean.”
March 29, 2022

RESPONSE: Educating for Faith Development

In TRADITION’s winter issue we published Barry Kislowicz’s “From Intuition to Evidence” about implementing “faith development” theory in Jewish schooling. Read the author’s exchange with a reader who asks about the role of homes and families in this challenging work.
March 27, 2022

REVIEW: Torah Song

Geula Twersky’s “Torah Song” (Kodesh Press) offers a remarkable analysis of the major poems of the Torah, and is a creative attempt to underline how the entire Torah—and particularly its poetic passages—forms an intricate network of ideas that unite the ideology of the Torah. Hayyim Angel reviews Twersky’s book, suggesting it will prompt readers to exert extra effort to fathom the divine treasures underlying biblical poetry, and to become religiously inspired through these efforts. 
March 24, 2022

The BEST: The Idea of the Holy

Chaim Strauchler on “The Idea of the Holy” for “The BEST”: Empiricism says things that cannot be measured do not really exist. Writing at the start of the 20th century, Rudolf Otto cried foul. There’s something within us (and beyond us) that cannot be reduced to external observation. This anti-reductionist approach is a critical weapon in a Ben or Bat-Torah’s arsenal today.