Jewish Holidays and Culture

Why I can no longer daven in an Orthodox synagogue

November 9, 2019

Here’s why I no longer daven in mechitzah minyans: It’s a symbol signaling that separate roles for men and women are immutable and eternal. I say no!

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Datlashim: can there be a second generation?

August 4, 2019

Last year, I wrote a column that asked the question: “how do datlashim – the Hebrew acronym for formerly religious Jews – want to raise their children?” The main response I received during the course of my research: “to be just like them”– that is, to also be datlashim. This poses a dilemma, as to […]

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What I learned from Facebook about God

June 10, 2019

How a Facebook conspiracy theory helped me understand why some people, when confronted with cosmic questions like the Big Bang, say “God made it.”

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Judaism’s honesty problem

January 6, 2019

Does Judaism actually encourage dishonesty? Two stories from Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz during a talk at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.

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My problem with Maoz Tzur

December 9, 2018

Do those who live their lives according to a strict reading of the biblical narrative have a greater propensity to seek revenge?

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Religion as complementary medicine

October 15, 2018

I’ve been looking at religion all wrong. Does religion need to make sense rationally? Or is it more like complementary medicine – a cultural placebo?

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The death of rational Judaism

June 25, 2018

Nearly all Jews today are “rational” in that we know which thoughts and behaviors to assign to the religious domain and which remain beyond it. But can that kind of Judaism survive?

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What datlashim want: “children just like us”

April 1, 2018

Will your datlashi children be driving to and from your Seder this year? Rabbi Shlomo Riskin says that’s OK – even into and out of Efrat.

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“But she’s not Jewish”

January 22, 2018

“I heard Ben broke up with his girlfriend. I’m sorry.” “Don’t be.” “Why not?” “They weren’t good together. They were always fighting.” “Well, that’s a relief, I guess.” “Not really. He’s got a new girlfriend. She’s even worse.” “What’s wrong this time?” “She’s not Jewish.” “But do they get along?” “Oh yes, they are very […]

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Datlash 2.0 – the elephant in the room

January 9, 2018

What’s fueling the growing phenomenon in Israel of datlashim – Hebrew for formerly religious Jews? And how big is it in real numbers?

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