Cross-Currents Blog

Reflections After the Siyum

So much of my time in the last few days had been spent in praise of the intellectual, that I was not fully prepared for the effect that the Siyum HaShas had on my...

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Siyum HaShas and the Shufflers

One way in which authentic Judaism differs from societal norms currently in vogue in the Western world is that Judaism abhors the cult of hero-worship. Before you lift your strongest finger to punch out...

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Voodoo Statistics

Edah, the ultra-Modern Orthodox fringe group whose coterie consists substantially of people who are conservadox or otherwise not Orthodox, is outstanding in both its capacity to attract publicity and its capacity to raise funds....

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A Torah Rationalist’s Manifesto

Many thanks to Rabbi Matis Greenblatt, literary editor of Jewish Action, who not only saves me much embarrassment by picking up my errors before publication, but inevitably throws in numerous tidbits of Torah insight....

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Halakhic Creativity: An Intercepted Letter

Dear Friend: We are writing to update you on the recent activities of the newly formed Society for Halakhic Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal. This umbrella organization – known by its acronym, SHICR – was...

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Wendy Shalit and her critics

Two weeks ago, Wendy Shalit had a much-discussed article in the Sunday NY Times Book Review, decrying the way Orthodox Jews are routinely pilloried in modern Jewish-American fiction. One of the writers she mentioned,...

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Two Visits

Two visits by pairs of wonderful young rabbis highlight an issue in Torah education that I believe requires attention. Both meetings were set up by senior rabbis whom I respect greatly and both were...

2

Requiem for Willy Loman

“He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.” That is how Bif Loman, son of the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, summed up his father’s life. Any attempt to measure the life of...

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