Articles by Gavriel Brown

The Presence of Narrative and the Poland Trip

Deep within the quiet back rows of the Okopowa Street Cemetery in Warsaw stands a dignified monument to members of the Bund, a Jewish secular socialist movement, who died in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.[i] The relief inside the stone shows a robust amateur soldier, a rifle in one hand, a ... Read more →

The Paper Trail of Jewish Postcards

Jewish ascendency to the highest echelons of science and technology—“high tech”—is a uniquely modern phenomenon. The rise of Jewish leaders in technological firms, Michael Dell (Dell), Andrew Grove (Intel), and Lawrence Ellison (Oracle), not to mention the praise that critics from David ... Read more →

An Interview with Rabbi Dr. Dov Zakheim

Rabbi Dr. Dov Zakheim served as the Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense from May 2001 to April 2004.  He also served in various Department of Defense positions during the Reagan administration, including Deputy Undersecretary ... Read more →

Rethinking Reason and Revelation

Reviewed Book: Yoram Hazony, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (New York: Cambridge UP, 2012). When a book garners praise from both Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who called the work “paradigm shifting,”[i] and Harvard linguist and psychologist Steven Pinker, who called it a “great ... Read more →

An Interview with Dr. Stephen Glicksman

GB: Jews have played major roles in the founding of major branches of psychology. A partial list of contemporary Jewish psychologists includes: personality psychologist Alfred Adler, Polish Gestalt psychologist Solomon Asch, facial expert Paul Ekman, ethicist Carol Gilligan, humanistic ... Read more →

Tortured Masters: Heresy, Hegemony, and the Historiography of Hasidut

Reviewed Book: David Assaf, Untold Tales of the Hasidim: Crisis and Discontent in the History of Hasidism(Hanover, NH: University of New England, 2010).   “All my life is one long chain of suppressed desires, concealed ideas, shattered cravings and wishes,” wrote a young Rabbi Yitzchak ... Read more →

Interview with Rabbi David Bigman

GB: Do you view your yeshivah as having a distinct mission or credo that sets it apart from the other yeshivot hesder? If so, what is it?   RDB: Let me first discuss what we have in common with the rest of the yeshivah world. First, in terms of the broad yeshivah world, we share [...]

Rav Hutner and Emmanuel Levinas, Panim el-Panim

Nose, mouth, eyes.  Forehead, ears, dimples. Wrinkles. Irises, cheekbones, eyebrows. For both Emmanal Levinas and Rav Yitzchok Hutner these features combine to produce a unique face for every living person which has rich philosophical value. These parts of the human face are “The epiphany of ... Read more →

Shabbat: A Time of Rest or Unrest?

In 2009, when Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, opened a parking garage on Shabbat, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the streets in violent protests. A counter-protest was organized by secular Jews who held placards that read “No Religious Coercion” and “Jerusalem is for ... Read more →