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Passionate Men

From the February 2021 Print Edition

Among Christians, anger is one of the seven deadly sins. For Jews, too, it is a major vice. Contemporary secular culture also takes a negative view. It commonly views anger as something to be controlled if not extirpated, if only because it disrupts social life and interferes with the smooth . . . . Continue Reading »

Clean Hands

From the January 2021 Print Edition

From the 1940s until his death in 1986, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the most prominent authority on Jewish law in America. One of his briefer responses addressed an inquiry about whether it was permissible to play ball for a living. What about the threat of serious injury? No, said R. Moshe, adducing . . . . Continue Reading »

Show Me Your Glory

From the November 2020 Print Edition

Sometimes it’s difficult to convey Jewish thinking to Christians precisely when it appears almost identical with the corresponding Christian teaching. Orthodox Jewish and Christian believers are committed to ideas of divine justice that include the destination of human beings after death. That . . . . Continue Reading »

Invisible Men and Women

From the October 2020 Print Edition

Non-Jews often wonder about the value of close study of Jewish law. To the outsider it can seem hyper-specialized, often applying to a very narrow range of situations. What wisdom comes from this nitpicking about legal requirement, they wonder? Quite a bit, in fact. Seemingly remote rabbinic . . . . Continue Reading »

Solitary Prayer

From the Aug/Sept 2020 Print Edition

It may seem odd to outsiders that in the middle of the last century, seating arrangements in synagogues were the most prominent marker of the division between American Orthodox Judaism and the other American Jewish religious movements. Orthodoxy maintained separate seating for men and women and the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Vaccinator’s Dilemma

From the April 2020 Print Edition

Among the blessings of modern living, we routinely count standard vaccinations for adults and children. Scourges such as smallpox have been eradicated, due in part to mandatory vaccinations that ensure immunity in entire populations. When I heard that a significant number of parents, including some . . . . Continue Reading »