The Isaiah Scroll

Editing the Editor

The Education of an Interloper by Jack Miles It was as a student at the Hebrew University during the 1966-1967 academic year that I was first introduced to the notion of orthopraxis as distinct from orthodoxy. A chain-smoking lecturer on Talmud, speaking in English to a class of Jews on their junior year abroad, including me as an interloper, explained to us that Judaism has no orthodoxy, no correct and required canon of beliefs, but does have an orthopraxis or orthopraxy, a set of shared practices some subset of which a Jew must maintain to retain his or her identity as a Jew. The lecturer illustrated his point by taking Zwi Werblowsky, a past president of the Hebrew University, as his example: Werblowsky did not believe in God but did keep kosher—or somewhat kosher: somewhat can be enough. Christianity...

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The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol

Book Review // The UnAmericans

“Listen,” says Tomás to his daughter, Daniela. “I know what you wrote.” Tomás is an academic, a Czech, who got out of Prague before the fall of communism, along with his wife, Katka, and baby Daniela. Now, he’s teaching at a two-bit college in Maine, divorced from Katka when their little girl was only two, and nearly estranged from his grown daughter, now a playwright. As “The Quietest Man” begins, Daniela has sold her very first play—and her father, the tale’s narrator, is determined to use her good fortune to reconnect with her…

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