Tradition Journal

Tradition Journal Tradition is the quarterly Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought published since 1958 by the Rabbinical Council of America.

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The Melekh HaKadosh and the Little Prince: Chaim Strauchler writes on “The Little Prince” for The BEST. Antoine de Saint...
09/09/2021
The BEST: The Little Prince

The Melekh HaKadosh and the Little Prince: Chaim Strauchler writes on “The Little Prince” for The BEST. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry uses a children’s story to speak to adults about human pretension and the pursuit of life’s ultimate meaning. His insights into the connection between friendship and ritual serve the religious reader well, especially during the High Holiday “taming” season.
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-the-little-prince/

The Melekh HaKadosh and the Little Prince: Chaim Strauchler writes on “The Little Prince” for The BEST. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry uses a children’s story to speak to adults about human pretension and the pursuit of life’s ultimate meaning. His insights into the connection between friendship

In reading the account of Kind David’s repentance through the prism of Psalm 51—"The Song of Repentance”—Judith Bleich o...
09/06/2021
Psalm 51: The Song of Repentance

In reading the account of Kind David’s repentance through the prism of Psalm 51—"The Song of Repentance”—Judith Bleich offers lessons of teshuva and the manner in which we should engage in the repentance process with contrition, sincerity, and humbled hearts.
https://traditiononline.org/psalm-51-the-song-of-repentance/

In reading the account of Kind David’s repentance through the prism of Psalm 51—The Song of repentance”—Judith Bleich offers lessons of teshuva and the manner in which we should engage in the repentance process with contrition, sincerity, and humbled hearts.

With the arrival this week of the shemitta year our minds turned to the variety of once-in-7-year halakhot we must revie...
09/05/2021
Rav Kook’s “Shabbat Haaretz”

With the arrival this week of the shemitta year our minds turned to the variety of once-in-7-year halakhot we must review, whether we dwell in Zion or abroad. However, Rav Kook urged us to view shemitta as enabling a renewed connection to the divine life-force in each individual and within humanity as a whole. His teachings are presented and explored in a new, English edition of “Shabbat Ha’aretz” prepared by Yedidya Julian Sinclair.
https://traditiononline.org/rav-kooks-shabbat-haaretz/
Rav Kook Everywhere

With the arrival this week of the shemitta year our minds turned to the variety of once-in-7-year halakhot we must review, whether we dwell in Zion or abroad. However, Rav Kook urged us to view shemitta as enabling a renewed connection to the divine life-force in each individual and within humanity

TRADITION shares this year’s High Holiday Reader dedicated to the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l. Rosh Hashana is a...
09/02/2021
2021 High Holiday Reader

TRADITION shares this year’s High Holiday Reader dedicated to the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l. Rosh Hashana is a time to think broadly of Hashem’s world and our place within it and The Rabbi Sacks’ model is a most worthwhile framework for such thinking. In these pages you will encounter our writers presenting “The BEST” that has been thought and said in a wide array of cultural objects, and understand how their consumption is potentially profitable to us as thinking, spiritual and religious beings.
https://traditiononline.org/2021-high-holiday-reader/

TRADITION shares this year’s High Holiday Reader dedicated to the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l. Rosh Hashana is a time to think broadly of Hashem’s world and our place within it and Rabbi Sacks’ model is a most worthwhile framework for such thinking. In these pages you will encounter

When it comes to history, language, and liturgy, some are content to read what other scholars have written. Mitchell Fir...
08/30/2021
REVIEW: Insights into Hebrew, Holidays, History & Liturgy

When it comes to history, language, and liturgy, some are content to read what other scholars have written. Mitchell First’s inquisitiveness compels him to research the issues themselves, and share the results with the rest of us – to our benefit, says David Curwin in reviewing two new works from Kodesh Press.
https://traditiononline.org/review-insights-into-hebrew-holidays-history-liturgy/

When it comes to history, language, and liturgy, some are content to read what other scholars have written. Mitchell First’s inquisitiveness compels him to research the issues themselves, and share the results with the rest of us – to our benefit, says David Curwin in reviewing two new works fro

Michael Sandel’s “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” offers a criticism of unfettered individualism, and does so in t...
08/26/2021
The BEST: Liberalism and the Limits of Justice

Michael Sandel’s “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” offers a criticism of unfettered individualism, and does so in the language of liberalism itself. Sam Lebens, writing for The BEST, reminds us that Rabbi Sacks realized more vividly than others that the communitarian critique of liberalism resonates deeply with Rabbinic sources because Judaism is a religion rooted in our tribal or national identity.
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-liberalism-and-the-limits-of-justice/

Michael Sandel’s “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” offers a criticism of unfettered individualism, and does so in the language of liberalism itself. Sam Lebens, writing for The BEST, reminds us that R. Sacks realized more vividly than others that the communitarian critique of liberalism r

Unlike many other works exploring Israel’s international relations, Emmanuel Navon עמנואל נבון does not begin with the f...
08/23/2021
REVIEW: The Star and the Scepter

Unlike many other works exploring Israel’s international relations, Emmanuel Navon עמנואל נבון does not begin with the founding of the nation or the emergence of political Zionism; instead, he starts with God’s selection of Abraham as the founding father of His great nation. This makes his book even more valuable, says Sruli Fruchter in his review of “The Star and the Scepter” (The Jewish Publication Society).
https://traditiononline.org/review-the-star-and-the-scepter/

Unlike many other works exploring Israel’s international relations, Emmanuel Navon  does not begin with the founding of the nation or the emergence of political Zionism; instead, he starts with God’s selection of Abraham as the founding father of His great nation. This makes his book even more

Andrew Rosenblatt writes on Max Weber’s “The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” for The BEST:  “While t...
08/19/2021
The BEST: The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Andrew Rosenblatt writes on Max Weber’s “The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” for The BEST: “While the Torah world may have little use for Protestant sects, the idea that religion is a primary driver of culture and that culture is a primary factor in the economy should concern any community leader.”
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-the-protestant-work-ethic-and-the-spirit-of-capitalism/

Andrew Rosenblatt writes on Max Weber’s “The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” for The BEST:  “While the Torah world may have little use for Protestant sects, the idea that religion is a primary driver of culture and that culture is a primary factor in the economy should c

TRADITION's publisher, The Rabbinical Council of America - RCA, produces a weekly video sermon from its member rabbis. L...
08/17/2021
Rav Jeffrey Saks - Parshat Ki Tetzei 5781

TRADITION's publisher, The Rabbinical Council of America - RCA, produces a weekly video sermon from its member rabbis. Listen to our editor R. Jeffrey Saks discuss "The Parenting Secrets of the Ben Sorer u-Moreh" for this week's Parashat Ki Tetze.

Rabbi Saks shares a dvar Torah on the weekly Torah reading

PREORDER THE R. LAMM MEMORIAL VOLUMEThe Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume -- a special hardcover, book-length issue of T...
08/16/2021
PREORDER: Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume

PREORDER THE R. LAMM MEMORIAL VOLUME
The Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume -- a special hardcover, book-length issue of TRADITION -- will arrive in a few weeks' time. Pre-order your copy now. The issue, edited by R. Jeffrey Saks, containing over 30 essays by leading figures in the world of Jewish life and ideas, focuses on the wide-ranging areas of Rabbi Lamm’s writing, assessing his lasting contributions to Jewish thought through the prism of his prolific works. View the Table of Contents and introduction.
https://traditiononline.org/rabbi-lamm-memorial/
Contributing authors: Ari Berman, Heshie Billet, Rookie Billet, Erica Brown, Shalom Carmy, Mark Dratch, Sam Dratch, Zev Eleff, Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel, Menachem Genack, Ari L. Goldman, Stu Halpern, Michael Avi Helfand, Nathaniel Helfgot, Chana Henkin, Joshua Hess, Richard Joel, Lawrence Kobrin, Eliyahu Krakowski, Samuel Levine, Mosheh Lichtenstein, Rona Novick, Menachem Penner, Michael Rosensweig, Jonathan Sacks z”l, Jeffrey Saks, Benjamin Samuels, Jonathan D. Sarna, Jacob J. Schacter, Aaron Segal, David Shatz, Tova Warburg Siniensky, Tzvi Sinensky, Meir Soloveichik, Joel B. Wolowelsky, Jerry Zeitchik, and Shlomo Zuckier.

The Rabbi Norman Lamm Memorial Volume -- a special hardcover, book-length issue of TRADITION -- will arrive in a few weeks' time. Pre-order your copy now. The issue, edited by R. Jeffrey Saks, containing over 30 essays by leading figures in the world of Jewish life and ideas, focuses on the wide-ran

With the imminent arrival of the Shemitta year 5782 we take the opportunity to review the erudite analysis of the hetter...
08/15/2021

With the imminent arrival of the Shemitta year 5782 we take the opportunity to review the erudite analysis of the hetter mekhira penned by R. Daniel Feldman in the pages of TRADITION. The essay concludes with a prayer that soon Shemitta will be observed fully in both letter and in spirit. "One might claim that the discussion itself, and the manner in which it is conducted, plays a special role in bringing that about. Hopefully, it emerges clearly that all of the participants in this debate, on both sides, are moved passionately by a love for Torah and for the Jewish people, and a deep wish to see Shemitta fully realized by a unified Jewish people in a rebuilt land of Israel."
https://traditiononline.org/a-brief-overview-of-some-of-the-issues-related-to-the-hetter-mekhira

With the imminent arrival of the Shemitta year 5782 we take the opportunity to review the erudite analysis of the hetter mekhira penned by R. Daniel Feldman in the pages of TRADITION. The essay concludes with a prayer that soon Shemitta will be observed fully in both letter and in spirit. "One might claim that the discussion itself, and the manner in which it is conducted, plays a special role in bringing that about. Hopefully, it emerges clearly that all of the participants in this debate, on both sides, are moved passionately by a love for Torah and for the Jewish people, and a deep wish to see Shemitta fully realized by a unified Jewish people in a rebuilt land of Israel."
https://traditiononline.org/a-brief-overview-of-some-of-the-issues-related-to-the-hetter-mekhira

Sam Lebens writes in The BEST: “John Stuart Mill’s moving and thorough defense of the freedom of speech, in which he des...
08/12/2021
The BEST: On Liberty

Sam Lebens writes in The BEST: “John Stuart Mill’s moving and thorough defense of the freedom of speech, in which he describes the good that comes even from listening to false beliefs, can function as an important corrective to the peril of dogmatism.”
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-on-liberty/

Samuel Lebens writes in The BEST: “John Stuart Mill’s moving and thorough defense of the freedom of speech, in which he describes the good that comes even from listening to false beliefs, can function as an important corrective to the peril of dogmatism.” 

Today, 3 Elul, marks the 86th yahrzeit of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt”l. As one of the most significant Jewish t...
08/11/2021
Rav Kook Archives

Today, 3 Elul, marks the 86th yahrzeit of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt”l. As one of the most significant Jewish thinkers of the modern era it is no surprise that his works have been analyzed, reviewed, and translated in the pages of TRADITION over the years. Visit our archives....
https://traditiononline.org/rav-kook-archives/

Today, 3 Elul, marks the 86th yahrzeit of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt”l. As one of the most significant Jewish thinkers of the modern era it is no surprise that his works have been analyzed, reviewed, and translated in the pages of TRADITION over the years. Visit our archives....

Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Biblical exegesis, the p...
08/09/2021
New and Noteworthy Books

Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Biblical exegesis, the philosophy of R. Soloveitchik, practical tips for reading and davening well, and more.
https://traditiononline.org/new-and-noteworthy-books-3/
Maggid Books Mark Zélcèr Heshey Zelcer Routledge Academic Studies Press Alan Kadish Yeshiva University David Fohrman Aleph Beta Princeton University Press Yehoshua Grunstein Ari Mermelstein Cambridge University Press Benjamin Schreier University of Pennsylvania Press University of Chicago Press

Our seasonal roundup of noteworthy new titles in Jewish studies and learning, with offerings on Biblical exegesis, the philosophy of R. Soloveitchik, practical tips for reading and davening well, and more.

Tradition Journal is the premier platform for intellectual discourse in the Modern Orthodox community worldwide. Behind ...
08/08/2021

Tradition Journal is the premier platform for intellectual discourse in the Modern Orthodox community worldwide. Behind the scenes, it's also a team of very dedicated people that keep the journal running. Mazal Tov to our intrepid editorial assistant Isaac Selter, who keeps the train on the tracks, on his wedding this evening to Shira Leibowitz. שירבו שמחות בישראל

Nessa Liben writes on George Orwell’s vision for English society, “Exposure to alternative viewpoints does not make us l...
08/05/2021
The BEST: The Lion and the Unicorn

Nessa Liben writes on George Orwell’s vision for English society, “Exposure to alternative viewpoints does not make us less patriotic; it makes us more so. It reminds us to improve ourselves and our national collective identity, our patriotism.” This week in The BEST.
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-the-lion-and-the-unicorn

Nessa Liben writes on George Orwell’s vision for English society, “Exposure to alternative viewpoints does not make us less patriotic; it makes us more so. It reminds us to improve ourselves and our national collective identity, our patriotism.” This week in The BEST.

Thanks to our friends at Mosaic Magazine for highlighting David Berger’s recent review of Eric Lawee’s new book on the r...
08/04/2021
Understanding the Enduring Greatness of Rashi’s Commentary on the Pentateuch » Mosaic

Thanks to our friends at Mosaic Magazine for highlighting David Berger’s recent review of Eric Lawee’s new book on the reception history of Rashi’s Commentary.
https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/religion-holidays/2021/08/understanding-the-enduring-greatness-of-rashis-commentary-on-the-pentateuch-understanding-the-enduring-greatness-of-rashis-commentary-on-the-pentateuch/

The 11th-century rabbi balanced accessibility and sophistication.

Hayyim Angel reviews the second installment of “The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel” on the book of Samuel which “is ...
08/03/2021
REVIEW: Tanakh of the Land of Israel: Samuel

Hayyim Angel reviews the second installment of “The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel” on the book of Samuel which “is written from an Orthodox perspective, utilizing contemporary scholarship as a tool for understanding God’s word.” Angel surveys the volume’s insights in the fields of linguistics, archeology, geography, and shows how these fields of wisdom enhance our understanding of Tanakh’s unique message."
https://traditiononline.org/review-tanakh-of-the-land-of-israel-samuel/

Hayyim Angel reviews the second installment of “The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel” on the book of Samuel which “is written from an Orthodox perspective, utilizing contemporary scholarship as a tool for understanding God’s word.” Angel surveys the volume’s insights in the fields of l

Writing for "The BEST" about MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, Zev Eleff suggests: Today, some Orthodox commentators take g...
07/29/2021
The BEST: “I Have a Dream”

Writing for "The BEST" about MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, Zev Eleff suggests: Today, some Orthodox commentators take great pains to argue for the Jewish spark within Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. This impulse reduces the force and meaning of both Jewish and American sources. Instead, we ought to take important texts and materials at fuller depth, appreciating them on their own terms. Like King’s “I Have a Dream,” our traditions—certainly the Jewish ones, but the best of the American canon, too—ought to stand on their own without the support of cultural and political alchemy.
https://traditiononline.org/the-best-i-have-a-dream/

Zev Eleff writes on Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, “The best of the American canon… ought to stand on their own without the support of cultural and political alchemy.”

To commemorate today's first yahrzeit of Rav Steinsaltz zt”l TRADITION republishes these tributes penned by Rabbi David ...
07/26/2021
The Sound of Sinai

To commemorate today's first yahrzeit of Rav Steinsaltz zt”l TRADITION republishes these tributes penned by Rabbi David Rozenson and Prof. David Berger. How did R. Steinsaltz, one of the most prolific and preeminent rabbis of our generation, come to play a key role in the revitalization of Soviet Jewry in Gorbachev's Russia? The true background to this part of his life, and his involvement in the astonishing Jewish renaissance behind the Iron Curtain, is little-known and has been under-reported.
https://traditiononline.org/the-sound-of-sinai/

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, whose first yahrzeit we mark today, was one of the most prolific and preeminent rabbis of our generation. How did this Israeli-born Talmudic scholar, who was at that point still far from finishing his life project of translating the Talmud and making it accessible to the moder

In advance of R. Steinsaltz’s first yahrzeit, Marina Zilbergerts pays tribute to the great scholar and teacher by leadin...
07/25/2021
REVIEW: Uncommon Wisdom – R. Steinsaltz’s Avot

In advance of R. Steinsaltz’s first yahrzeit, Marina Zilbergerts pays tribute to the great scholar and teacher by leading us through some of the insights in his recent commentary to Avot. Steinsaltz’s “wide-ranging glosses on the nature of wisdom, intellectual achievement, human relationships, virtue, and government, among other topics, show how Avot explores the problems faced by the individual as a moral agent in a world where knowledge is readily available but wisdom is hard to come by.”
https://traditiononline.org/review-uncommon-wisdom-r-steinsaltzs-avot/
Steinsaltz Center Koren Publishers Jerusalem מרכז שטיינזלץ Marina Zilbergerts

In advance on R. Steinsaltz’s first yahrzeit Marina Zilbergerts pays tribute to the great scholar and teacher by leading us through some of the insights in his recent commentary to Avot. Steinsaltz’s “wide-ranging glosses on the nature of wisdom, intellectual achievement, human relationships,

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Finally a book has come out that all Jewish People must read. It explains that neither Jewish or any man had anything to do with Jesus's Death. Also explain what happened to Jesus when he went against God's wishes and went upon the mountain with Satan. DO YOU KNOW WHY? Why Did Jesus say… Pick Up the Serpent and Drink All Deadly Things? Why did Jesus tell the rich man… To see Heaven, you must obey the Ten Commandments and give to the Needy, yet preachers tell you that you are forgiven for your sins? Why did Jesus say… Don’t call me Good Master for there is none good but God. but later said I am the way and the light, and you can only get to Heaven through me? If Jesus is God why when he was on the cross, cry out God, God, why have you forsaken me? If Jesus was dying for our sins (which the Bible never said so) then why would he say God forsaken him? A God can move mountains and hold back seas, why was Jesus not able to remove a small nail from his hand. How did Mary walk right pass Jesus and not notice him? Why did his disciples go up to him and ask Stranger, have you seen Jesus? What really happened to Jesus when he went up on the mountain with Satan? There are many questions about the Bible and finally there is a book that explains all. “ I LOVE GOD by Gregory St. James Mundy”