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In the “struggle for universal human dignity and equality,” the Jewish legal tradition instructs and complements the modern tradition of rights. Yale law professor Robert M. Cover argues in this 1988 article for the Journal of Law and Religion that, in contrast to modern conceptions of rights, which are primarily concerned with the protection of […]

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Does Bible Criticism leave room for faith? Noted Bible scholar Jon Levenson points out in this 1993 First Things article that the purely secular, critical approach to the Bible of many academics suffers from the same faults as does the fundamentalist religious approach: both ultimately rely on their own uncriticized values and assumptions. Pluralism and […]

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What is the Jewish understanding of economic justice? Many Jews assume it is one in which property rights are limited for the purpose of redistributing wealth and lessening the economic gap between rich and poor. Indeed, Jewish thinkers have been some of the chief proponents of socialism since its inception, and socialist economic policy was […]

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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 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 […]

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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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