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Solitary Prayer

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 »

Spiritual Communion

During the Diocletian persecution, a group of North African Christians were brought to trial in Carthage for meeting illegally for worship. When asked why they had persisted in this practice, one replied, “Sine Dominico, non possumus”: “Without this thing of the Lord, we cannot live.” Over . . . . Continue Reading »

Phobos and Deimos

At the beginning of book VII of Virgil’s Aeneid, auspicious winds send the ships of the Trojan hero and his warriors to the mouth of the Tiber, where they put ashore. An oracle has foretold their coming. Aeneas is welcomed by the king of the Latins, and an alliance is forged. The king’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Catastrophism and Control

A wise man knows that he must put things into perspective, but a still wiser man knows what perspective to put them into. A doctor who tells the widow of a patient who has just died that, after all, her husband’s was only one of 2,800,000 deaths a year in the United States alone (56,000,000 . . . . Continue Reading »

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