Ma’alot Tsedaqah and Ordine Caritatis: Orders of Charitable Priority in Maimonides and Aquinas

Journal of Ecumenical Studies. (Spring 2012.) In the context of works that would become profoundly influential to each scholar’s respective religious tradition, both Moses Maimonides (in his Mishneh Torah) and Thomas Aquinas (in his Summa Theologiae) formulated orders of priority for charitable giving. Similarities and differences between these formulations illuminate broader similarities and differences between Jewish…

The Jews Occupying Wall Street

First Things. (October 14, 2011.) As an angry mob has amassed in New York’s financial district, and countless other cities, promising to “Occupy Wall Street [Or Your Location Here],” I have felt a discomfort that grows more insistent by the day. Not because I am one of the nation’s wealthiest one percent (I am quite…

A Particularly Universal Love

First Things. (August 1, 2011.) In an article for Haaretz (subsequently picked up by the über-aggregator The Huffington Post ), Mira Sucharov reopens the “particularism vs. universalism debate,” arguing the utter superiority of universalism and the foul depravity of particularism in strident terms“even to the extent of invoking everyone’s favorite debating tactic: tying the other side to Hitler. Surprisingly,…

Song: VeEirastikh Li / Anah Dodi

A setting of verses from Hosea and Song of Songs, performed by Cantor Meredith Greenberg and the JTS Choir at the 2010 Shalshelet music festival. (Music by Seth Chalmer; lyrics by Hosea and King Solomon.) Image: “Song of Songs-Last” by Aharon April.