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Understanding the human condition, the essential qualities that make us who we are, shapes how we think about our purpose as men and women created in the image of God.  Searching for distinctive characteristics that separate the human animal from all others, philosophers have proposed that man is an acquisitive animal, a social animal, a […]

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Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.  In this podcast, Eric Cohen sits down with the legendary editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz, to discuss his 2007 essay, “Jerusalem: The Scandal of Particularity.” The ancient capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem, has been the essential center of […]

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The Tikvah Fund is pleased to republish—for the first time online—one of the great ethicists and philosophers Hans Jonas’s forgotten forays into Jewish thought. Jonas argues that Judaism and scientism, the ideological faith in science as an authority in all realms of human life, are in opposition at the most basic levels.  In their moral […]

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Faith in the Flesh

June 20, 2016 | By: R.R. Reno

As Catholic theologian, social critic, and First Things editor R.R. Reno sat in the synagogue pews one Saturday morning, watching his daughter assume her place in the people of Israel as a bat mitzvah, he was provoked to scrutinize his own Christian faith in light of the Judaism of his wife and children. In this […]

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By the time Eliezer Berkovits wrote “Jewish Education in a World Adrift” in 1970, the “value system” that had sustained the West had collapsed. Relativism, nihilism, boredom, and permissiveness characterized the age–and the education of the young. Here Berkovits issues a call to arms, urging Jews to counter the nihilism of the broader culture by […]

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The Jewish Mother

June 9, 2016 | By: Meir Soloveichik

Few Jewish doctrines sound as strange to modern ears as that of “matrilineal descent,” the notion that membership in the Jewish people is passed on through the mother even as other specific qualities of Jewishness (like whether one is a Levite) are passed on through the father. In “The Jewish Mother,” Rabbi Meir Soloveichik looks beyond sociological […]

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Markets and Morals

June 7, 2016 | By: Jonathan Sacks

Friedrich Hayek, noted as one of the twentieth century’s greatest defenders of the free market, also made a case for religious traditions. In theory, the energetic, dynamic, disruptive market would seem to be at odds with the restraint, humility, and anti-materialism of revealed religion. Reflecting on Hayek’s praise for both religious order and market freedom, […]

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What is the theological meaning of Israel’s improbable triumph in the Six Day War? In 1968, Tradition convened leading Jewish thinkers from both Israel and the United States to consider the religious significance of the reunification of Jerusalem. Rabbi Norman Lamm, Michael Wyschograd, Pinchas Peli, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, and Rabbi Walter Wurzburger all contributed reflections. Here is Michael […]

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Interfaith engagement has many champions in our politics and in our philanthropies. For Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, not all interfaith engagement was to be cheered. In his profound theological reflection, “Confrontation,” he argued that communities of faith are characterized by separate and irreconcilable theologies. However, such communities may share certain interests and may work together in […]

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Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.  The subject of this podcast is Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s classic 1964 essay, “Confrontation,” one of those rare, enduring masterpieces that is both a profound theological reflection on human nature, and an important work of Jewish communal policy. This essay—and […]

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