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Sincerity is Not Self-Knowledge

Teshuva means return, and return in the ­Hebrew Bible and the Jewish legal tradition means return to God. It is the word for repentance. Some prominent modern Jewish thinkers have used the term teshuva to refer to the individual or the community’s return to itself. The list . . . . Continue Reading »

The Original Nation

No one views Israel with indifference. As an old joke puts it, a philo-Semite is just an anti-Semite who likes Jews. Bari Weiss quotes this joke (to disparage Donald Trump) without grasping its deeper meaning. Anti-Semitism and philo-Semitism respond to the same thing, namely, God’s promise to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Does Natural Law Need Theology?

Until quite recently, natural law thinking had been a Catholic preserve. My interest in it was awakened during my days as a Jewish undergraduate at the University of Chicago, by the great Leo Strauss—himself a serious, though nonobservant, Jew. When I told Strauss of my interest in natural . . . . Continue Reading »

Hannah Arendt and Judaism

On the American “Jewish street” of the mid-1960s, you did not need to have read her work to have an opinion about Hannah Arendt. The German Jewish émigré to the United States had written a famous book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, which showed that anti-Semitism was at the core of the . . . . Continue Reading »

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