Friday, March 13, 2009

New Periodical: Tradition vol. 41 no. 4

A new issue has been published of Tradition vol. 1 no. 4, Winter 2008:

  • Homer and the Bible by R. Shalom Carmy -- Criticizing those who try to impress and excite readers/listeners by being controversial. To my knowledge, the first use of Homer Simpson in a Torah journal.

  • The Living Wage and Jewish Law by R. Dr. Aaron Levine -- Shows that Jewish law does not support Living Wage legislation. Dismisses Conservative Rabbi Jill Jacobs' arguments in favor of it. Points out that Living Wage legislation: 1) addresses the individual and not the household, 2) is a tax on employers rather than one that is proportional to wealth, 3) an increase in wages will yield a correponding decrease in anti-poverty benefits that depend on income, 4) has disemployment effects. Instead supports the Earned Income Tax Credit. Also see these post: I, II, III

  • Click here to read more
  • Halakhic Issues Presented by Breast Cancer by Naomi Englard-Schaffer and Dr. Deena Zimmerman -- Discussion of nidah, mikvah, birth control and tattooing as it relates to treatment of breast cancer.

  • Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature: Blood Sugar Tests & Use of Viagra on Shabbat by R. J. David Bleich -- Strongly advocates diabetics testing blood sugar level on Shabbos but discusses whether certain methods that minimize the amount of blood used are preferable. Also discusses the arguments against using Viagra and similar drugs on Shabbos and concludes that it is permissible.

  • Review Essay: A Modern Midrash Moshe - Methodological Considerations by R. Hayyim Angel -- Can Midrash become binding? Is R. Mosheh Lichtenstein's analysis of Moshe's career in his book (link) the final word? R. Hayyim Angel's answer: No.

  • Digesting the Exodus Narrative - Rav Soloveitchik's Approach to the Seder Eve by Daniel Wolf -- A detailed and insightful review of Festival of Freedom.

  • Book Review: Neehaz Be-Sevakh by R. Chaim Navon and Ve-Hayu la-Ahadim be-Yadekha by R. Yuval Cherlow by Mali Brofsky -- Summary: R. Navon's book is a good introduction to R. Soloveitchik's thought, R. Cherlow's book is a Kookian look at R. Soloveitchik. Both sound interesting but the latter sounds fascinating.

  • Communications: Music During Sefirah and the Three Weeks by R. Nathaniel Helfgot and R. Moshe Bleich -- R. Nati says that Rav Soloveitchik permitted listening to taped music during the Three Weeks and Sefirah. R. Bleich questions this report and points out that most authorities disagree. However, I can attest that "everyone knows" that Rav Soloveitchik permitted it. And, I've been told, so did R. Yitzchak Hutner.

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