Cross-Currents Blog

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Racism or Halakha? An Analysis of the Barkan Controversy

The Eidah would have requested the same of any employee, regardless of skin color, whose Jewish status required further investigation in the view of its rabbis. Conversely, if an Ethiopian converted with the rabbinical court of the Eidah Ha-Hareidit, the Badatz would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever about his or her handling wine.

A Fish’s Smile

I was accosted recently on the Staten Island Ferry by a large fish. Well, not exactly. It was actually a large photograph of a fish, on a poster carrying the legend: “I’m ME, not...

Kavanaugh and Religious Freedom

When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, many immediately predicted the worst. NPR’s Nina Totenberg, channeling R.E.M., proclaimed it “the end of the world as we know it.” After President Trump nominated Judge Brett...

A Few New Articles

Here are a few new articles of mine that were were recently posted, respectively, on Times of Israel and Arutz Sheva: Ethiopians and Wine: Not so Fast, Rabbi Cardozo Rabbis Weiss’and Angel’s accusations against...

The Monster on Muslims’ Backs

The third time proved the charm. President Trump’s travel ban received the hechsher of the highest court in the land. As well it should have. True, in the years since 9/11, no one in...

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Three Weeks Shiur

Entitled “A 17th of Tammuz Cholent,” it was, as the name implies, a little bit of this, and a little big of that. I think it was supposed to keep people awake in the...

Orthodox Kids Don’t Need Your Pity

An article I wrote for Haaretz, which was published earlier this week, about attacks on some Chassidic yeshivos for the limitations of their secular studies programs, can be read here. If you don’t subscribe...

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Immigration, Meet Balak

Everything that happens is alluded to in the weekly parshah, right? Sometimes it is just a little more difficult to see how. Not this week. Immigration policy is front and center. Am I being...

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