The Home of American Intellectual Conservatism — First Principles

September 18, 2014

REFERENCE DESK
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Lapin, Daniel
James E. Person, Jr. - 05/12/11
Lifespan: (1947– )

A bestselling author as well as a popular radio host and motivational speaker, Rabbi Daniel Lapin is the founder and head of several conservative organizations in the United States aimed at cultural renewal and optimum business practices, notably Cascadia Business Institute and Toward Tradition. He has contributed articles to numerous conservative periodicals and spoken before many groups and businesses, including the Heritage Foundation, the Mont Pelerin Economic Society, and the 1996 Republican National Convention, in which talks he consistently delivers a message of adherence to traditional norms amid the rapid changes of modern life. According to one of his most frequently quoted sayings, “The more that things change, the more you must depend upon those things that never change.”

Rabbi Lapin was born in South Africa and educated in London and Jerusalem. Upon completing his formal education, he taught theology and physics in South Africa. The study of these disciplines affirmed his belief that there is no real conflict between the truths of science and the spiritual truths of the natural law. Immigrating to America, he served as a congregational rabbi for over two decades, discovering during that time that the truths of Judaism’s ancient texts contain much practical wisdom for the present day. Together with cultural critic Michael Medved, he established the Pacific Jewish Center, a dynamic Orthodox synagogue in Venice, California, in which the congregation is motivated weekly to apprehend the living truths of traditional Judaism and apply them to everyday life.

Settling in Seattle, Washington, Rabbi Lapin founded Toward Tradition in 1991. With numerous chapters scattered about the United States, Toward Tradition is a national cultural and economic movement to provide spiritual and intellectual affirmation and resources to Jews and Christians who seek to embrace the free market and conserve traditional norms as they apply to the family. In 1996 he formed Cascadia Business Institute, which provides seminars encouraging corporate managers to embrace traditional Jewish wisdom to effect excellence in business. In his first book, America’s Real War (1999), he presented the thesis that either the United States must recover its Judeo-Christian heritage or perish, writing, “Almost every social pathology and nearly every sign of civic disarray can be traced to one thing: the extirpation of religion from American public life during the past three and a half decades.”

Further Reading
  • Lapin, Daniel E. Buried Treasure: Hidden Wisdom from the Hebrew Language. Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, 2001.
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