Category: News

Two Thoughts about You-Know-What

Surprisingly (he said with sarcasm), I’ve been giving some thought to the current pandemic. Specifically, to the unprecedented closures of shuls and yeshivos.  In the absence of a prophet, no one can claim to...

Plagues Past and Present

It’s been some 700 years since the bubonic plague ravaged central Asia, killing millions of people. A decade or two later, in October, 1347, a ship from the Crimea docked in Messina, Sicily. Rats...

Stop and Think

Politicians would serve themselves well to always keep in mind Rabi Yehudah Hanasi’s admonition: “An eye sees, an ear hears, and all your deeds are written in a book” (Avos 2:1). Most public servants...

Pathologized Problems

It seems that a good part of my youth was spent in a mental asylum without walls. At least that’s how some mental health professionals might characterize it. Among the boys in my neighborhood...

A Misleading Morph

I’ll never forget coming across the phrase “the Holocaust” – complete with the definite article and capitalized second word – in, of all things, a translation of the Mishnah. More unnerving still was that...

Pleasing Orthodox Political Palates

For some of us, double-edged swords don’t come more dangerous than the prospect of a Jewish president. The accomplishment would be heartening in a way, and would say much about America. But the reality...

The Guard Protecting the Shul

Security for Jewish institutions – shuls, schools, community centers and organizations – has understandably been at the forefront of many minds and agendas in recent months. Agudath Israel of America, where I serve as...

Incendiary Devices

“BLACKS NEED TO RESPECT JEWISH AUTHORITY,” reads the stark, all-caps message on Telegram, an instant messaging service. The word “JEWISH” is reverse-color emphasized. The message came from a fake account, like similar racist sentiments...

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