Orthodoxy and Reticence

It has been forty years since my revered teacher Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, popularly known as “the Rav” by his followers in the modern wing of American Orthodoxy, presented his paper “Confrontation” to the Rabbinical Council of America. The paper was later published in the Council’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century

In the best that has been thought and said about the twentieth century, its Christian martyrs have hardly been mentioned. This should come as no surprise. From our vantage point at the beginning of a new millennium, it seems a little far-fetched that someone would be killed because he is Christian, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fifties Without Soul

This is not a book review, it’s a complaint.I have been reading—and, I confess, enormously enjoying—David Halberstam’s The Fifties (Villard), yet another of his blockbuster best-sellers. It’s great nostalgia, wonderfully evocative, and above all, about my generation. Like . . . . Continue Reading »

The Liberalism That We Need

The Liberalism That We Need Maciej Zieba The God who gave us life gave us liberty. —Thomas Jefferson They clamor for freedom—God, make them heed. For freedom resembles the possession of a flute: If it is handled by a person deaf to music he will lose his breath—and torment the ears . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond Liberty

This Hemisphere of Liberty: A Philosophy of the Americas by michael novak aei press, 153 pages, $18.95 We are nearly two years into the post-Cold War era—an era as yet without a name—and we have awakened to the sobering reality that democracy is easier to desire than it is to sustain. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Vatican and the State of Israel

In a recently published book, Sergio I. Minerbi, formerly of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks of the Catholic Church as “the chief opponent” of the Zionist movement past and present, and he identifies “the real reasons underlying” this “hostility” as “immutable . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Rome and Runnymede

Curious. Why should the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe all see fit to carry the story of the promulgation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the papal declaration on the mission of Catholic universities? On the face of it, Vatican norms for . . . . Continue Reading »