seder plate

Passover | politics | Media | Coronavirus

Time, Plague, and Politics at Passover

A new administration, a new pace for the news cycle, and a very old truth

March 29, 2021


Our Declaration

Here’s a suggestion for this Independence Day: Read the Declaration of Independence. But don’t just read it silently on your own; read it out loud with other people.  To quote Tevye the Milkman: “Sounds crazy, no?” Perhaps, but in this column I’d ...

July 4, 2019

university life | Chaplaincy | Mental Health

Faith in Humanity

Ask just about any university student, student life professional, or campus mental health counselor, and it’s pretty likely they’ll tell you the same thing about student mental health: Despite the robust resources on many campuses, services are still...

June 6, 2019

American Jews | Judaism | New York Times | Media | Anti-Semitism | white nationalism | terrorism

The Cartoon and the Rabbi

Last Thursday, the international print edition of The New York Times published a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog, with a human head and an unusually large nose, being walked by—or, perhaps, walking—President Donal...

May 2, 2019

American Jews | #MeToo | philanthropy | Judaism

When the Good is No Longer Good Enough

One of the worst-kept secrets in the Jewish philanthropic community burst into the open on the front page of The New York Times last month. Several Jewish women professionals went on the record to recount having been the recipients of sexually sugges...

April 4, 2019

Holocaust | American Jews | Donald Trump

Michael Cohen, Never Again

As I stood at my computer at 6 a.m. last Thursday morning reading Michael Cohen’s prepared statement to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, one passage in particular jumped out at me: “I have always tried to live a life of loyalty, f...

March 7, 2019

higher education


I need to start with an apology. Today’s column departs from this publication’s modus operandi—“sighting” religion in current events in global cultures. Instead, with your forgiveness and permission, I’d like to use my space this month to reflect on ...

February 7, 2019

American Jews | memorial


My father died on the 5th of December, which is also the 27th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. For the past month, I have attended minyan (Jewish prayer services) twice daily in order to say kaddish for him. Traditionally, children recite kaddish fo...

January 7, 2019

gun violence | Judaism | Holocaust

Tree of Life

A man may not go out with a sword [on Shabbat], nor with a bow, nor with a shield, nor with a round shield, nor with a spear. If he has gone out [with any of these] he is liable for a sin offering. Rabbi Eliezer says: They are ornaments for him. Bu...

November 1, 2018

Friedrich Nietzsche | Judaism | University of Chicago

On Academic Time

Addressing new students at the Divinity School during orientation this year, Dean David Nirenberg talked about the university as a place in which it is possible, even necessary, to live in a different kind of time. Academe is fueled by the exploratio...

October 4, 2018