My colleague, Rivki Rosenblatt (OU Press) and I recently returned from staffing OU Alumni’s ten-day trip to Germany through an organization called Germany Close Up (GCU). GCU was founded by Dr. Dagmar Pruin. Dr. Pruin is not Jewish – in fact, she is an ordained minister in her church – but she studied Jewish studies
I’m not a big fan of the term “God-fearing.” To me, it seems misused. It’s completely backwards and it makes no sense. How so? Let’s examine. Imagine two individuals at two extremes of the religious/behavioral spectrum. One is a great, pious scholar. He studies, prays, performs acts of charity – the whole nine yards. The
It happened again. An Orthodox Jew – a teacher and a prominent member of his community – has been accused of a particularly heinous crime. I say “accused” not because he’s an Orthodox Jew but because this is America and a person has a presumption of innocence until he’s been proven guilty. I don’t believe
At the recent Oscars, Matthew McConaughey won the best actor award for his role in a movie called Dallas Buyers Club. From this, I infer (a) that there’s a movie called Dallas Buyers Club and (b) that there’s an actor named Matthew McConaughey. (A quick look at IMDB reveals that I have not seen anything he has been
I recently received an email informing me that Saturday, March 1, is Self Injury Awareness Day. Never having heard of such a thing, I took to the interwebs and learned that, sure enough, it is in fact a thing. I’m sorry that such a day is necessary but it is, so perhaps we should take
Last Sunday, I joined with Team Yachad to participate in the Miami Half-Marathon. While I was there, I met a man who was familiar with my writing from this very web site. (Gratifying though that was, any egotism it might have caused was offset by the fact that he was 15 years my senior and
In a well-known Chasidic tale, a rabbi wishes to demonstrate the consequences of lashon hara to a habitual gossip. He has the man cut open a pillow and scatter the feathers to the wind. “Now gather up every last feather,” the rabbi tells him. “That’s what it’s like trying to get back the gossip one
The Mishna tells us, “in a place where there is no man, strive to be a man” (Avos 2:6). Sadly, not every marriage turns out to be a fairy-tale romance.
On Halloween, a 22-year-old woman – whose name I will withhold to protect what little privacy she has left – decided to dress as a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing. This entailed dressing like a regular marathon runner but with fake blood on her extremities. And, as young people do, she posted the picture
A quick look into the idea of Makom Kavua.