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Mosaic has launched Mosaic Books, a new e-book series. The first book in the series collects, for the first time, the essential Jewish writings of one of America’s most perceptive and provocative intellectuals, Irving Kristol. On Jews and Judaism: Selected Essays covers American Jews’ struggle with politics, theology and religious practice, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, and […]

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Reading Deuteronomy

September 9, 2014

In Tikvah’s advanced institute “The Jewish Idea of God,” founding CEO of Ein Prat, Micah Goodman sets the stage for reading Deuteronomy. The Book of Deuteronomy is composed of several speeches by Moses and is meant to be read as Moses’s last words. But therein lies a challenge: Deuteronomy is a whole section of the […]

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The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel opens “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped.” The only problem with that statement, according to Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, is that it’s not true. The Jewish people were formed in Egypt. Land is important […]

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Law and Warfare

September 2, 2014

As part of Tikvah’s advanced institute “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews,” Ran Baratz, the founding editor of Mida, argued that Israel is overly obsessed with exercising power cleanly. War is never as clean as we design. Hoover Institution scholar Peter Berkowitz expanded the claim, pointing out that the same impulse exists in other liberal democracies that […]

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What does Aristotle’s understanding of politics share with Judaism’s? William Kristol offers a theory. According to him, both Aristotle and Judaism reject the idea of inevitable progress. They also both have comparably few hard and fast rules every regime must adhere to in order to be a just regime. In this way, they are the […]

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Isaiah Berlin's Liberties

August 22, 2014

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik shows the Hebraic significance of Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty.” Negative liberty, or freedom from, is recognizable in the Hebrew word chofshi and, not coincidentally, in Hatikvah. Despite its significance in the Israeli national anthem, it is not negative liberty, but rather positive liberty that, according to Rabbi Soloveichik, is celebrated by the […]

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Just like Thomas Paine’s political thought, Edmund Burke’s sees liberty as a core aim of a good society. But “liberty” means something very different for Burke. While Paine defines liberty as the freedom to do whatever you want so long as you are not harming another, Burke speaks of “ordered liberty.” In this clip from […]

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Possibly Leo Strauss’s greatest essay, “Progress or Return?” is crucial to understanding Strauss’s political thought, especially his famed reason/revelation distinction. In this clip, Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution summarizes the entire argument of the essay in four short propositions.

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Thinking About Revelation

August 13, 2014

During Tikvah’s advanced institute “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews,” Eric Cohen, Yuval Levin, and Meir Soloveichik tried to sort through the deep dilemma facing the modern, post-Enlightenment Jew who also holds a Burkean respect for old ways. Eric Cohen began by pointing out how peculiar the claims of historical revelation are, so peculiar as to strain […]

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What is the proper relationship between Jews and political power? To what extent should Jews eschew worldly power for the sake of piety? How Machiavellian can Jews allow themselves to be? Two of the Jewish world’s most esteemed intellectuals, Ruth Wisse and Moshe Halbertal, examined these questions for participants in the Tikvah Fund’s Summer Fellowship […]

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