Monthly Archives: September 2011

shelo asani isha: the real problem

Many recent kerfuffles have no compelling reason to be a kerfuffle, and even less to be recent. Among these we can count the reigniting of the controversy over the blessing of Shelo asani isha. Last month, a Rabbi in LA … Continue reading

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paul franks: the three and a half goals of reconstruction

The reconstructive method anchors many contemporary philosophical attempts to deal with the history of philosophy. The goals of reconstruction are distinct from the goals of intellectual history, on one side, and philosophical argumentation, on the other. Reconstruction allows for a … Continue reading

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cut to the chase: pini ifergan on blumenberg and schmitt

In 2009, very little had been said in English on the Schmitt/Blumenberg correspondence.  Standing on the opposite shore of 2011, we have a superabundance of scholarship about this unique intellectual relationship. A newish article in New German Critique adds to … Continue reading

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readiness to mouse

Some of us are always mulling over Heidegger’s section on tool being. Not slate.com. In today’s piece on “natural scrolling” they tell us the real difference between vorhanden and zuhanden.

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BYOG

In a beautiful article in Reform Judaism, Emily Langowitz tells us about her “frum week.” A committed reform Jew, Emily took time to refine and better understand these commitments by practicing Orthodox Judaism for a week. There were a few … Continue reading

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the decline, of choice

Americans are suckers for our own decline. As this New Yorker piece reminds us, declinism as a rhetorical strategy is nothing new, although according to Adam Gopnik, only Spengler did it right. Whatever the case may be, we have got … Continue reading

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dead zones of modernity

What do we talk about when we talk about getting organized? We talk about hardware. The discourse of personal virtues, being fastidious or having it together, is often supplanted by a three word magic formula “get an iPhone.” If we … Continue reading

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hear deep in with your mouth

By now the story is well known. A mega-nonprofit conglomerate masquerading as a Yeshiva puts out a PR video about Rosh Hashanah which, while it has no content, features quite impressive feats of breakdancing. Predictably, the breakdancers are not recent … Continue reading

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Zohar (9/6/2011)

I am going to occasionally blog on the Zohar in conjunction with the Zohar Haburah I am running here in Boston. If you are interested in joining the group, feel free to reach out to me.  Text available here, pages … Continue reading

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yaacov dweck’s the scandal of kabbalah

Yaacov Dweck’s The Scandal of Kabbalah tells the story of Leon Modena’s Ari Nohem, an anti-Kabbalistic treatise written into MSS by the famous Venetian rabbi in 1639. A multifaceted work embracing the history of the book, the actual details of … Continue reading

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