12 episodes

Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought is a quarterly Orthodox Jewish peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Rabbinical Council of America. It covers a range of topics including philosophy and theology, history, law, and ethics.

Tradition Podcast Tradition Online

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.6 • 18 Ratings

Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought is a quarterly Orthodox Jewish peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Rabbinical Council of America. It covers a range of topics including philosophy and theology, history, law, and ethics.

    Covenantal Capitalism

    Covenantal Capitalism

    Subscribers have no doubt begun to dig into TRADITION’s recent symposium issue on “The Challenge of Material Success,” which contains the proceedings of our Tradition Today Summit. We were delighted that one of our contributors, Michael Eisenberg, recently discussed his paper with Yaakov Wolff at the Shtark Tank podcast. The essay and conversation center on Eisenberg’s concept of “Covenantal Capitalism” and how Jewish values have shaped his career and investing. They also discuss ways in which Torah concepts concerning economic values are best, perhaps only, able to be implemented in modern Israel.
    Michael Eisenberg is the co-founder and general partner of Aleph, a Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm, and the author of, most recently, The Tree of Life and Prosperity.
    The Shtark Tank podcast, hosted by Yaakov Wolff, explores a variety of relevant topics, including the challenges and possibilities at the intersection of careers and religious life for those who strive to find balance and to succeed at each in fulfilling ways. Subscribe to Shtark Tank on Spotify or all podcasting platforms. Our thanks to them for their partnership in allowing us to share this episode with listeners of the Tradition Podcast.

    • 52 min
    PODCAST: War in Israel at Yale

    PODCAST: War in Israel at Yale

    TRADITION’s most recent issue features a special section with short reflective essays on the events of October 7th and the ongoing war in Israel. In this episode, two of those authors meet to discuss the topics touched on in those very personal pieces of writing. Chaim Strauchler engages with Alex S. Ozar, who serves as a rabbi with the Orthodox Union’s JLIC and the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University. Alex’s essay, “War in Israel, in New Haven” captures the raw emotions, trauma, and fear of last Simhat Torah. He wonders: Is the Golden Age of American Jewry, in fact, over? He shares reflections on the Jewish experience on the Yale campus over the past number of months and what that experience says about the future of American Jewry. Amidst many frightening anecdotes, he communicates optimism about his students and the prospects for future Jewish success.
    Chaim Strauchler, associate editor at TRADITION, in his essay, considers how we might make the best opportunities of the current crisis, to grow and improve from amidst its ashes. Locating in Maimonides’ teachings a call to accountability he suggests three arenas for discussion: a counter-narrative to the oppressor/oppressed duality; a renewal of Zionism; and ways to heal as a nation and a people.
    You can read both of these essays open-access in our newest issue.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Alt+SHIFT Exit Interview

    Alt+SHIFT Exit Interview

    Because TRADITION has always aspired to be more than a quarterly print journal and aims to help shape the conversation and have an impact in our religious community, about five years ago we broadened our reach by expanding our digital-direct offerings, producing shorter-form original content distributed on TraditonOnline.org and over social media—this includes the podcast, expanded coverage of books and cultural criticism, and a platform to feature new authors.
    Since December 2022 Yitzchak Blau has been producing “Alt+SHIFT”—that’s the keyboard shortcut allowing us quick transition between input languages on our keyboards. For many readers of TRADITION this is the move from English to Hebrew (and back again). Blau has shared his insider’s look into trends, ideas, and writings in the Israeli Religious Zionist world to help readers from the Anglo sphere gain insight into worthwhile material available only in Hebrew. This series is now heading off on hiatus and we thought it would be a good idea to talk with its author about what he’s accomplished in the 30 installments of the column. Yitzchak Blau, Rosh Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem’s Old City, is an Associate Editor of TRADITION.
    Later in the episode, we meet Moshe Kurtz, who will be stepping in with a new series, “Unpacking the Iggerot,” exploring themes and topics at the intersection of halakha and hashkafa as they arise from the Iggerot Moshe of R. Moshe Feinstein zt”l. He joins us now for a quick preview of what we can expect from that upcoming series. Kurtz is the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT, author of Challenging Assumptions, and host of the podcast Shu”T First, Ask Questions Later.

    • 59 min
    A Colonial Protestant Rabbi at Harvard

    A Colonial Protestant Rabbi at Harvard

    Yisroel Ben-Porat, a doctoral candidate in early American history at CUNY Graduate Center, is writing a doctorate on the Puritans’ use of the Hebrew Bible as a political text. In TRADITION’s recent Fall 2023 issue he offered a historical investigation of an enigmatic early eighteenth-century figure, “Rabbi” Judah Monis—the first known Jewish-born degree recipient and faculty member at Harvard, where he taught Hebrew for almost four decades. Monis converted in advance of his appointment, but seems to have maintained a complicated relationship with the Judaism he left (or tried to leave) behind. The Tradition Podcast spoke with Ben-Porat about this little-known chapter which opens very many questions about American Jewish identity and politics, Antisemitism, and even current events and conflict on the Harvard campus and the halls of Congress (in ways Ben-Porat could not have anticipated when he authored the essay months ago).
    Read Yisroel Ben-Porat, “Protestant Rabbi: The Conversion of Judah Monis in Colonial Massachusetts,” TRADITION (Fall 2023).
    Watch a video recording of this discussion.

    • 41 min
    AUDIO EDITOR’S NOTE: The Abnormal Matzav

    AUDIO EDITOR’S NOTE: The Abnormal Matzav

    Listen to an introduction to TRADITION’s upcoming Winter 2024 issue, with special content related to the ongoing war in Gaza. Jeffrey Saks observes: The initial shock, horror, and trauma of October 7th have in no way abated and all thoughts remain fixed on the “matzav”—our most abnormal situation. Writing from Israel, our editor considers the challenges for our religious community, the heartening reality of Jewish unity, and some sharp questions it poses for our way forward. Listen to this Audio Editor’s Note accompanying the new issue, due to arrive in subscribers’ hands and online next week.

    • 8 min
    PODCAST: Law and Philosophy in the Guide

    PODCAST: Law and Philosophy in the Guide

    TRADITION’s Summer 2023 issue, recently made fully open access, contained a fascinating offering penned by Michael A. Shmidman, our distinguished editor emeritus, titled “Isadore Twersky’s Unique Contribution to the Study of The Guide of the Perplexed.” It is a presentation and analysis of five integral and interlocking components of Rabbi Professor Isadore (Yitzhak) Twersky’s understanding of Maimonides’ formulation of the relationship between the philosophic tradition and the Oral Law, particularly as expressed in the Moreh Nevukhim.
    Shmidman suggests that all of Maimonides’ works, as viewed by Twersky, “promote the integration, the blending, the fusion of law and philosophy. We should not bifurcate the most central Jewish figure of the medieval era into Rambam the halakhist and Maimonides the philosopher, but rather view his work as one united entity.” Because R. Twersky’s major scholarly focus was on the Mishneh Torah, his unique contribution to the study of The Guide of the Perplexed is, Shmidman suggests, sadly underappreciated—and that contribution is the focus of this essay.
    Michael A. Shmidman is Dean and Professor of Jewish History at Touro University Graduate School of Jewish Studies. This most recent essay originated as a lecture at a conference commemorating the 25th yahrzeit of R. Isadore Twersky convened at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University (on September 11, 2022). We thought our readers would appreciate listening to Shmidman’s talk alongside reading his essay at TraditionOnline.org. The recordings of all the lectures at that daylong event, “Understanding Halakhah, History & Spirituality,” can be found on Revel’s YouTube channel—and we thank our friends at the Bernard Revel Graduate School for sharing this resource with our listeners.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

AFRabbi ,

Good content. Poor audio quality.

I want to give this podcast 5 stars for excellent content, but the audio quality is so atrocious it approaches the realm of being impossible to listen to.

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