The Directional Shaking of the Lulav: Bible, Mysticism, and Religious Polemics
Yaakov Jaffe traces the origins and evolution of the custom to shake the lulav in different directions.
A “What If” Review: Hypothetical History, Science, and Halakhah
Yaakov Taubes examines three hypothetical “What if?” books and what they can teach us about history, science, and halakhah.
(How) Can we Know Orthodox Judaism is True?
In his latest for the Lehrhaus, Steven Gotlib reviews the recently published collection of essays, Strauss, Spinoza, and Sinai: Orthodox Judaism and Modern Questions of Faith, which tries to answer: is there a philosophical defense of Orthodoxy in the modern world?
Was the Sotah Meant to be Innocent?
For Parshat Naso, Lehrhaus editor Yosef Lindell compares three twentieth-century rereadings of the Sotah ritual that make the passage more palatable to modern audiences.
Daniel Deronda and Fate and Destiny: Reflections on Zionism and Feminism
What do you get when you read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda alongside Rav Soloveitchik’s Kol Dodi Dofek? A cross between Zionism and feminism, argues Eileen Watts.
Renew Our Days as Days of Old
On Yom Ha'atzmaut, Zach Truboff reflects on Rav Shagar's insistence that the Israeli present must be rooted in the past, and explores the redemptive power of Torah as an answer for modernity.
A Prehistory of Rav Kook
What can we learn from Rav Kook's writings before he immigrated to the land of Israel? As Yom Ha-Atzma'ut approaches, Levi Morrow reviews Yehuda Mirsky's new prehistory of Rav Kook.
Theologically Speaking: God, Language, and the Maggid of Mezritsh
Is God revealed through our speech? In his review of Ariel Evan Mayse’s Speaking Infinities, Steven Gotlib explores this question in the thought of the Maggid of Mezritch.
Frum and Free? Passover and Jewish Views on Liberty
Aton Holzer offers a novel re-reading of the Seder, arguing that it reflects and recreates four types of liberty that can be found in the Exodus narrative, as well as a fifth form of freedom.
The Dark Side of Torah u-Madda: Chaim Potok and Core-to-Core Cultural Confrontation
The debate about Torah u-Madda and pop culture continues. Noah Marlowe argues that Chaim Potok's literature offers a useful conceptual framework for, and embodiment of, a profound confrontation between Judaism and elite elements of general culture.