Monday, January 15, 2007


It seems that the journal Tradition is now delaying the publication of a new issue online until a few months after the paper issue is published. I actually like this because I hated seeing the online version and then having to wait weeks for the paper issue to come in the mail.

The latest issue, Winter 2006 (the best way to catch up is to skip!), is a special issue on the topic of "War and the Jewish Tradition" with articles by R. Yitzchak Blau, Dr. Judith Bleich, R. Shalom Carmy and R. J. David Bleich. R. Carmy's article is about the moral implications of the commandment to destroy Amalek. The article is long and insightful, but essentially concludes with the following (p. 79):

In the final analysis it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it is morally and religiously preferable to regard the command to eradicate Amalek, and perhaps the commandment regarding the seven nations, as laws without rationale, justifiable only from the standpoint of Deus dixit. Anything else either cheapens the word of God or degrade human moral judgment.

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