About the Author

William Kolbrener

Professor William Kolbrener is professor of English Literature at Bar Ilan University in Israel.  He writes on Judaism and Jewish identity, and has written several books, among them, Open Minded Torah: Of Irony, Fundamentalism and Love and The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition.

Hanukkah is Jewish Pride Week

On Hanukkah, we proclaim our difference with special enthusiasm, refusing a ‘woke’ form of universalism which does not allow for Jewish distinctiveness.

My Favorite Child

In a world that fantasizes about perfection, Shmuel did not meet any one’s expectations.

The Big Game: Baseball and the Jews

Like baseball, the ups and downs of Jewish history are strands of one larger story.

Poetry of Repentance

An English Professor discovers the poetry of the soul.

Making Exceptions

Baseless hatred stems from hating others for what we fear may be true about ourselves.

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