Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Shema

I recently read an interview with a writer who is, like me, in her mid-eighties. I was surprised by how vehemently she insisted that she never allowed herself to think about death. For even before my brush with death five years ago, at the age of eighty-one, thinking about my ultimate end had been . . . . Continue Reading »

Clean Hands

From the 1940s until his death in 1986, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the most prominent authority on Jewish law in America. One of his briefer responses addressed an inquiry about whether it was permissible to play ball for a living. What about the threat of serious injury? No, said R. Moshe, adducing . . . . Continue Reading »

The Judaism of George Steiner

George Steiner, who died earlier this year, was one of the most influential Jewish intellectuals of the last half-century. He produced a foundational text in the philosophy of translation, the first thorough introduction to Martin Heidegger in English, major investigations into the nature of tragedy . . . . Continue Reading »

Show Me Your Glory

Sometimes it’s difficult to convey Jewish thinking to Christians precisely when it appears almost identical with the corresponding Christian teaching. Orthodox Jewish and Christian believers are committed to ideas of divine justice that include the destination of human beings after death. That . . . . Continue Reading »

Invisible Men and Women

Non-Jews often wonder about the value of close study of Jewish law. To the outsider it can seem hyper-specialized, often applying to a very narrow range of situations. What wisdom comes from this nitpicking about legal requirement, they wonder? Quite a bit, in fact. Seemingly remote rabbinic . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles