How the Rabbinic Mode of Thinking Gave Irving Kristol His Rare Independence of Mind

Ruth R. Wisse
pick
Sept. 25 2019
About Ruth

Ruth R. Wisse is a Mosaic columnist, professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, will be published in September.

In a study of the American political thinker Irving Kristol, the founding father of neoconservatism, Ruth R. Wisse points to the “rabbinic tradition whose mode of thought he had imbibed from the culture of his youth” as “fundamental to understanding Kristol and his legacy.” The influence of this tradition can be found in Kristol’s writings on Jews and Judaism, but not only in those writings. It contributed to his rare independence of mind, and made him receptive to the ideas of such religious thinkers as Reinhold Niebuhr:

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Read more at National Affairs

More about: Irving Kristol, Judaism, Neoconservatism, Reinhold Niebuhr

Israel’s New Government Flies in the Face of the Country’s Western Critics

June 17 2021

Commenting on the recent swearing-in of the new governing coalition in Jerusalem, Shany Mor writes:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Israeli politics, Israeli society