March 23, 2022

REVIEW: We Are Not Alone

The overall aim of Menachem Kellner’s “We Are Not Alone” is to articulate a universalistic interpretation of Orthodoxy which emphasizes the Torah’s explicit teaching that all human beings are created in the image of God. He finds an appreciative reader in Michael Harris who writes: “Rootedness in the particular texts and traditions of Judaism together with compassionate universalism remains an all-too-rare combination in today’s Orthodox world. This book provides strength and support for those convinced that the most noble stance for Orthodoxy is one which reaches out from a non-negotiable matrix of halakhic fidelity and proud particularity to embrace all those created in the image of God.”
March 22, 2022

The Great Books Debates

Follow TraditionOnline’s ongoing series about the state of humanistic wisdom in the wide world and within Modern Orthodoxy.
March 22, 2022

Living Antiquities: Ozick, Great Books & Judaism

Sarah Rindner Blum joins TRADITION’s ongoing conversation about the state and fate of the Great Books, focusing on Cynthia Ozick’s recent literary offering which attunes her readers to matters of objective truth, of God and of eternity, allowing us to appreciate books and culture for what they are.
March 21, 2022

Daylight Saving and Halakha

With the Senate’s recent unanimous vote to keep America on Daylight Saving time year-round, the halakhic world is concerned about a variety of potential ramifications should this bill become a law. Rabbi J. David Bleich considered the issues the last time morning minyan-goers were kept in the dark – revisit his 1974 column on “Daylight Saving Time and Morning Prayer.”
March 20, 2022

When Shemitta and a Pandemic Coincide

Exactly 120 years ago the world also saw the coincidence of a plague and the shemitta year. Jeremy Brown explores how this gave rise to a variety of halakhic deliberations on how to manage the needs of working the land and producing enough food in Eretz Yisrael, with the obligations of observing the sabbatical year. Those considerations have had long-lasting consequences for shemitta policies on the national scale, and resonate with our own pandemic days.
March 16, 2022

The BEST: The Bridal Canopy

For this Purim-edition of “The BEST” Jeffrey Saks offers a reading of S.Y. Agnon’s “The Bridal Canopy” and its message for the holiday. “Naturally, if this novel’s plot twist is to take place on any particular day of the year, Purim is pre-programmed for such a thing. On this holiday of masks and disguised identities, what is concealed will be revealed, and God works it all out for his faithful in the end.”
March 15, 2022

RESPONSE: On the Longevity of the Ancient 

Responding to Eric Lawee’s recent essay about the long-lived ancients of the book of Genesis, Edward Reichman brings to our attention interesting scientific research revealing secrets that lay dormant, in our genetic code, unappreciated for centuries. Might “living until 120” one day be considered a tragically short life?
March 13, 2022

The Hidden Meaning of Esther’s Double Yud

Megillat Esther is a scroll of hiding and seeking – its mysteries have not yet been fully revealed. In this unmasking of one of the book’s curiosities Phyllis Silverman Kramer and Mordecai Kramer explore the 6 appearances of the word Yehudim with a double-yud spelling and correlate them to 6 particular miracles and corresponding halakhic observances.
March 10, 2022

The BEST: Paradise Lost

Dov Lerner writes on what makes John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” so revolutionary and so significant to the religious reader: “Milton dismantles the epic celebration of mortal combat so paradigmatic of Homer and Virgil—depicting belligerence as the blemish of the weak, and resilience as the sign of the strong.”