Monday Sep 10, 2012
Yeshiva University's Zysman Hall
“Isn’t that the home of the famous Hebrew Union College?” a South African friend once remembered of my hometown. I stared at my friend for a few moments before realizing that I had never considered that place to be something important. Despite having grown up in the same city for over a dozen years, I hadn’t given thought to the fact that one of the largest institutions for Reform...
Sunday Aug 26, 2012
Deborah the Prophetess' interpretation by Gustave Dore
Just the other day, the media was rightfully in an uproar after a Republican senatorial hopeful stupidly suggested that “legitimate” rape rarely results in a pregnancy. Within hours of this verbal blunder, nearly every conceivable politician, Republican or Democrat, denounced the candidate for his insensitivity, while many, including the Republican presidential nominee...
Monday Aug 06, 2012
Battle between Israelites and Amalekites
A few weeks back, we saw in Parshat Mattot, the second to last reading in the book of Numbers, that the Bible records Moses castigating the Jewish people for sparing the lives of Middianite women who had allegedly slept with Jewish men. Like many younger Jews living in the 21st century, I found myself a bit uncomfortable reading these passages, despite the various reconciliatory...
Monday Jul 16, 2012
Christopher Columbus leaving Spain
A couple months back, CNN published an article covering a hot topic in the history of the famed traveler Christopher Columbus entitled “Was Columbus Secretly a Jew?” The writer, Charles Garcia, cites several Spanish historians who all conclude that the man we suspected of being a great Christian explorer was in fact Jewish. Garcia even mentions the possibility that Columbus viewed...
Thursday Jun 28, 2012
About a dozen Thursdays ago, I met with a national delegation of academics who were trying to evaluate Yeshiva University’s accreditation standings in light of the sour economy. This team of professors drilled me and my peers on how the school’s recent cutting of faculty and other financially driven changes were affecting student life. “Despite all of the academic changes, our...