Articles by Shlomo Zuckier

Living Alongside Your Brother: Of Usury, Triage, and Political Philosophy

One of the fundamental questions central to the current American political scene, a bitterly contested matter dividing Republicans and Democrats, is the issue of allocating resources. Should the government employ a system that forces the more successful citizens to assist those less fortunate ... Read more →

Defending the Opponents of Nakh: A Reluctant Devil’s Advocate

I would like to start this article by offering the following disclaimer: I am personally a major advocate of studying Nakh.  While Gemara study has been the primary pursuit of my years at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University, the study of Nakh has played a significant secondary role in ... Read more →

The Making of a Rosh Yeshivah Biography

Reviewed Book: Elyashiv Reichner, By Faith Alone: The Story of Rabbi Yehuda Amital (New Milford, CT: Maggid Books, 2011).   Biographies have the power to humanize even the most herculean warriors, the most charismatic statesman, the holiest saints. Relating an accomplished person’s ... Read more →

An Interview with President Richard M. Joel

SZ: Can you describe your career trajectory- how you went from a career in law to a career in Jewish leadership? RJ: I can’t really say whether I ever had a career trajectory, and I’m not sure if I have a career in Jewish leadership.  I often tell people that I am in no way […]

An Interview with R. Dr. Shalom Berger

Please provide a brief history of shanah ba-arets programs and their development from their inception until now. Students have been traveling from the Diaspora to learn in Israel from time immemorial. I think that a good example is the story where Rabbi Ze’ira avoided Rav Yehudah, who wanted ... Read more →

The Relationship of Orthodox Jews Believing in Denomination and Non-Denomination Believing Jews

The Relationship of Orthodox Jews Believing in Denomination and Non-Denomination Believing Jews BY: Shlomo Zuckier Reviewed Book: Adam Mintz (ed.), The Relationship of Orthodox Jews with Believing Jews of Other Religious Ideologies and Non-Believing Jews (New York: Yeshiva University Press; ... Read more →

What Does Jewish Identity Mean to You?

BY: Shlomo Zuckier The modern era, with its offer of personal autonomy, ushered in a wave of individualism and self-determination in the Western world. Instead of knowing which religion and/or king they were subject to, people could now ask themselves what religion they preferred to associate ... Read more →

Different Perspectives on Chosenness[i]

BY: Shlomo Zuckier In analyzing the issue of Jewish chosenness, it is possible to present the question of the selection of the Jewish People as a problematic: Why would God, who created the entire world and cares about all His creatures, choose only one nation to bear His mantle and have the ... Read more →

The ArtScroll Revolution Examined: Religious Print Culture in the Information Age

BY: Shlomo Zuckier. Reviewed Book: Jeremy Stolow, Orthodox by Design: Judaism, Print Politics, and the ArtScroll Revolution (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2010). Price: $24.95. Known as “the people of the book,” Jews, one might say, are perhaps the ... Read more →

Ve-Taher Libbenu le-Ovdekha be-Emet: Appreciating a True Posheter Yid

BY: Shlomo Zuckier. This tribute to R. Yehuda Amital, zts”l and his legacy will begin on a personal note.  I studied in R. Amital’s yeshivah (Yeshivat Har Etzion) and heard dozens of shi’urim and sihot from him during my time there.  Following his passing on July 9, I have felt ... Read more →

Ha-Mahamir, Mah Tavo Alav

Ha-Mahamir, Mah Tavo Alav?: Religious Stringencies and Their Psychological Considerations BY: Shlomo Zuckier From the Talmudic dictum safek de-Oraita le-humra (in case of doubt concerning biblically mandated laws, follow the stringent opinion), it seems that Judaism values religious stringency ... Read more →

Creativity, Not Formalism: Towards A Survey of Rav Yoel Bin-Nun’s Halakhic Methodology

Creativity, Not Formalism: Towards A Survey of Rav Yoel Bin-Nun’s Halakhic Methodology BY: Shlomo Zuckier Rav Yoel Bin-Nun is known as one of the most creative minds of the past generation in the Orthodox world. His most acknowledged accomplishments are in the world of Tanakh, where he ... Read more →

An Interview with Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

  An Interview with Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks BY: Shlomo Zuckier   As Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, how is your role different from that of an ordinary rabbi? It means that I have to look after the welfare of all the congregations under my aegis in ... Read more →