The Summer 2011 issue of Tradition (44:2) is out, with some explosive material (not yet online):
- The House I Lived In: A Taste of Gooseflesh by R. Shalom Carmy – Some Orthodox Jews are uncomfortable with converts for reasons that are not racist. But discomfort with people from different backgrounds is still small-minded. I’d add that many ba’alei teshuvah face the same attitude (see this post: link).
- Philo’s Place in the Chain of Jewish Tradition by Dr.
Naomi Cohen – Argues that Philo was primarily a Jewish thinker. I thought R. Shmuel Belkin had settled this debate but what do I know.
- Jewish Immigrants, Liberal Higher Education, and the Quest for a Torah U-Madda Curriculum at Yeshiva College by R. Zev Eleff – Uncovers archival material that shows the pressures facing R. Bernard Revel when setting the first YC curriculum. Irrefutably demonstrates that R. Revel rejected certain courses as spiritually dangerous.
- Kabbalat Sabbath: Recited by the Community; but is it Communal? by R. Barry Freundel – Extended argument against “Partnership Minyanim” in which women lead the entire mixed-gender congregation in Kabbalas Shabbos. Argues that it is an obligatory service despite the many possible objections, and may constitute tefillah be-tzibbur or at least tefillas rabbim. Does not really address why that means women cannot lead, which is a topic for a lengthy essay in itself.
- Modern Orthodox Arguments Against Television by R. Yitzchak Blau – Summarizes the psychological and sociological anti-TV literature and argues that they conflict with primary MO values such as volunteerism, independent thinking and women’s dignity. He concedes thy he isn’t totally against TV because shows like Mash and Star Trek are thought provoking. He just wants an honest assessment. Seems to me a worthy article but one that is insufficient to counter the yetzer ha-ra of pop culture.
- Entering a Non-Jewish House of Worship by R. J. David Bleich – In short, no. On the way to that conclusion, argues that the majority of poskim hold that “shituf” is permissible for Noahides only some of the Meiri’s radical statements can be taken at face value. Disagrees with Prof. Jacob Katz, Prof. Marc Shapiro and R. Eliezer Berkovits on various points, dismisses some specific rabbis who entered churches as halalakhic lightweights, and explains the historical origin of the Chief Rabbi of England’s occasional entry to a church.