Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Periodical: The Torah U-Madda Journal volume 14 2006-07

There is a blockbuster new issue of The Torah U-Madda Journal with some fascinating articles. The entire issue is available online for download (link):

  • "Mah Enosh": Reflections of the Relation between Judaism and Humanism by R. Aharon Lichtenstein - an unpublished essay from 40 years ago

  • A Nation Under God: Jews, Christians, and the American Public Square by R. Meir Soloveichik - arguing based on the writings of Rav Soloveitchik that Jews should be active in the public square and use our religion for public policy

  • Torah im Derekh Erez in the Shadow of Hitler by Dr. Marc B. Shapiro - a translation of an argument for Torah Im Derekh Eretz by a professor at the Hildesheimer institute

  • Philosophy in Halakhah: The Case of Intentional Action by Jed Lewinsohn - an attempt to understand certain talmudic passages and views by means of theories of intentional action put forward by contemporary analytic philosophers

  • Purity of Motivation and Desiring the World to Come by R. Yitzchak Blau - what reasons are acceptable for doing mitzvos?

  • The Beginnings of Team Torah u-Madda Sports and the Mission of an Americanized Yeshivah, 1916-1940 by Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock - fascinating study of sports at YU and what the rabbis had to say about it

  • Molecular Genetics, Evolution, and Torah Principles by Dr. John D. Loike and R. Dr. Moshe D. Tendler - note the approving citation of R. Natan Slifkin's The Challenge of Creation in note 13 followed by this and a list of sources: "Authoritative rabbinic sources suggest that the Torah is compatible with evolutionary theory."

  • A Response to Rabbi Ephraim Buckwold's Critique of "Rabad of Posquieres A Programmatic Essay" by Dr. Haym Soloveitchik - Dr. Soloveitchik defends his historical approach to halakhah on religious grounds, albeit unfortunately briefly and only in regards to this particular issue that deals with monetary matters, and then defends his various positions that had been attacked. All this with a good deal of humor and biting sarcasm. Bottom line: Don't mess with Dr. Grach!

  • Tracing Trends in Orthodoxy: A review of Lippman Bodoff's The Binding of Isaac, Religious Murders, & Kabbalah: Seeds of Jewish Extremism and Alienation? by R. Jack Bieler

  • Letter to the Editor by Dr. Lawrence Kaplan
Also of related interest is this letter to the Seforim blog about why the journal Tradition is not completely online: link.

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