Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

American Nightmare

From the October 2022 Print Edition

Late at night, after the dishes have all been cleared and the kids put to bed, most of my friends cast a quick, furtive look around to make sure no one’s watching, grab their phones, slide into bed, and indulge their wildest and most sensuous desires. No, they’re not looking at pornography. . . . . Continue Reading »

Pedaling to Heaven

From the Aug/Sept Issue 2022 Print Edition

The most moving spiritual experience I’ve had in the past decade didn’t take place in the pews of my synagogue. It did not involve a rabbi, or reading from the Torah, and I wasn’t wearing my yarmulke or my prayer shawl. Instead, I was hunched over on a stationary bike in the dark, sweating . . . . Continue Reading »

Alternative Realities

From the June/July 2022 Print Edition

The multiverse is upon us! Everywhere you turn in popular culture these days, it seems like the world is not enough: From hit TV shows to blockbuster films, plot lines run through multiple parallel realities, a ­cosmic cornucopia that invites us to feast on “what-ifs” and “­if-thens.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Hope Among the Ruins

From the May 2022 Print Edition

These days, it seems, my friends fall into two groups: The Red Hots and the Blue Birds. The Red Hots are the angry sort. They stand, like fly fishermen, knee-deep in the torrent of news stories washing over us, angling for the latest catch to feed their appetite for outrage. They don’t just get . . . . Continue Reading »

Fruitful and Multiplied

From the April 2022 Print Edition

Dizengoff Street, a tree-lined corridor of commerce and pleasure, is Tel Aviv’s main artery. Squint a little, and you could easily imagine that you’re standing not in sunbaked Israel, a short drive from the Gaza Strip, but in Barcelona, say, or Berlin, or Manhattan. Take a closer look, however, . . . . Continue Reading »

Have No Fear

From the March 2022 Print Edition

We Jews know death. Leaf through the Talmud, that treasure trove of rabbinic wisdom, lore, and law, and you’ll find the grim reaper loafing about on every other page, inspiring scores of intricate debates about what precisely we must do when faced with the Great Unfathomable. Judaism gives us no . . . . Continue Reading »

True Crime Junkies

From the January 2022 Print Edition

Are you bored? In need of distraction? Hungry for a morsel of entertainment? Let’s review pop culture’s offerings. Over at the smorgasbord of TV now available on every streaming service and device, there’s A Wilderness of Errors, a documentary series about Jeffrey MacDonald, the army . . . . Continue Reading »

Happy Hanukkah

From the December 2021 Print Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and in our jingle-belling hearts and our hap-happiest TV ads, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But this year, Americans of all faiths concerned with preserving their religious liberties ought to join us Jews and celebrate a bit of Hanukkah. . . . . Continue Reading »