The Reading Room

How To Live Amid Falling Walls

During the past few weeks, as Jews in America, Europe, and Israel have been experiencing an upsurge an antisemitism unlike anything the world has seen since the Holocaust—an increase in Jew-hatred so alarming that it prompted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to address the U.S. Congress on the matter on November 29th—Jews around the world who study the weekly Torah portion have been reading the chapters in the Book of Genesis that recount the conflict between Jacob and Esau.


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John Dickinson and the Moderation of Constitutional Balance in The Letters of Fabius

Some might be tempted to remember John Dickinson only as the man who at the last hour refused to support American independence.  That would be an error.  Among those American founders fallen into relative obscurity, few deserve restoration to remembrance more than John Dickinson. 

The Haskalah Comes of Age with Moses Mendelssohn

Born in Dessau to a poor family, his father a scribe, Moses Mendelssohn was educated privately by his father and a local rabbi, David Frankel, who not only taught him the Talmud and the Bible but also introduced him to philosophy and the works of Maimonides. 

Free Will Hiding In Plain Sight

1qq`Some authors tend to deny the existence of free will because we are not Epicurean atoms or Nietzschean Ubermen with unconstrained freedom. We’re unable to defy the physical and social world in which we’re indelibly embedded. We aren’t able to do whatever we want, or step outside of our linguistic frameworks, or defy causation.