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After reading Douglas Farrow’s “The Secret of the Saeculum” (May), I found myself unsure of how to understand it. Take, for instance, the following striking passage: Our age is a very definite age, a very well-defined age, precisely because it is bracketed by the first and second comings of . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »

Why School Prayer Matters

In his State of the Union address and elsewhere, President Trump has emphasized the importance of prayer in public schools. In one speech he promised “big action” on the matter. But just what action he is contemplating remains obscure. Teacher-led prayer to open the school day? Football players . . . . Continue Reading »

Prayer, Distraction, and
Daily Life

Let’s begin by reviewing some fundamentals of Jewish prayer. The mandatory prayers are offered three times daily. This commandment may be fulfilled in private. However, significant elements of the standard prayers have a public character. These are primarily the recitations of outcry or praise . . . . Continue Reading »


For the fire that answers the covering dark,For every marriage that ends in faith,For the hand that finds desired work,And for every reconciled death, We bless you, O Lord, and we ask that             we may be added to their number. For the wall that answers . . . . Continue Reading »

First Sunday

In Advent, the hermit lights a candle-end,Drips wax onto a saucer, stands it there.The early nightfall forms itself aroundThis little shivering flame. He says his prayer:Stir up Thy power, Lord. Outside, the windHas risen. Rain flicks its fingers at the window.He’s alone. God’s called him to . . . . Continue Reading »

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