Cross-Currents Blog

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...

My Purim’s Highlight

My Purim’s highlight this year was an interaction I had with two little boys, no older than 8 or 9.  The shul I attend is often visited by a number of “collectors” asking for...

Masquerading as Feminism

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t have a column in Hamodia this week, but thought I’d post a Purim-themed thought I wrote several years ago.  A joyous and meaningful Purim to all!...

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...

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