In this podcast, Eric Cohen talks with Jay Lefkowitz about his provocative 2014 essay, “The Rise of Social Orthodoxy: A Personal Account”. The essay caused a stir by describing a subset of American Modern Orthodox Judaism whose participation in Jewish ritual is primarily motivated by social and civilizational attachments to the Jewish people, not out of faith in the God of the Hebrew Bible or reverence for His commandments.
Lefkowitz and Cohen begin by surveying the denominations of American Judaism and their relative vitality. Focusing on the Orthodox, they consider which approaches to Jewish life—Haredi, classically Modern Orthodox, Socially Orthodox—are likely to endure and, should they endure, which approaches are likely to elevate the moral lives of their adherents. Which is a firmer ground for Jewish continuity—belonging or belief? What is gained and what is lost when membership is the overarching value of Jewish life?
- Norman Podhoretz on Jerusalem and Jewish Particularity
- Michael Doran on Western elites and the Middle East
- Ruth Wisse on Campus Anti-Semitism
- Meir Soloveichik on “Confrontation”
- Yuval Levin on religious liberty
- Elliott Abrams on American Jews and Israel
More about: • The American Jewish Experience • Theology • Tikvah Podcasts
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