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During last month’s Advanced Institute in Jerusalem, “God, Politics, and the Future of Europe,” Tikvah hosted a conversation on “Modernity, Religion and Morality” to discuss the decline of Western Civilization and to probe some of the reasons behind it. What happens when faith in the God of the Bible deteriorates?

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Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove wrote a provocative article in 2007 titled “Where Have All the Theologians Gone?” This is the question Shearith Israel rabbi Meir Soloveichik and Mechon Hadar rabbi Shai Held begin with: Why is there so much less public argument about Jewish theology than there was in the middle of the last century? What […]

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What is the condition of modern Judaism? It is simultaneously rationalist and non-rationalist, Israeli and Diasporic, nationalist and individualist, powerful and fearful of rising anti-Semitism, particularist and universalist. To sort out modern Judaism’s camps and contradictions and to offer some thoughts on Judaism’s theological, sociological, and political future, Tikvah hosted a conversation between two very […]

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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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As part of Tikvah’s Summer Fellowship, participants were treated to a discussion on how to read and how to think about rabbinic literature. The two interlocutors approach rabbinic literature from different points of view and from different intellectual traditions. Christine Hayes of Yale University is one of the very few and perhaps the most accomplished academic expert […]

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God Beyond Language

August 20, 2014

Drawing on Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed, Micah Goodman, Founding CEO of Ein Prat Academy, explains here the logic of Maimonides’s “God beyond language.” The only way to establish that God is greater than this world is to say that God is greater than language. Is silence, then, the only proper praise of God?

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To open Tikvah’s advanced institute “Is Judaism a Religion?” Professor Leora Batnitzky of Princeton University defined her terms. Religion, she explains in this clip, is a modern term. In a pre-modern era, “Judaism” referred to the ways of semi-autonomous Jewish communities and a “Jew” referred to the member of such a community. In the modern […]

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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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