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Aug 2, 2021, 10:38 PM
Ben, Jerry, and Julia: The Last Sadductions
Maimonides once commented that the Sadducees’ ostensible professed commitment to the apparent literal directives of the Written Torah to the exclusion of any oral tradition was essentially a complete ruse: they didn’t actually believe in either Torah; it was...
Jul 16, 2021, 7:15 PM
Bar Kamtza was a bad Jew
Bar Kamtza might have been the first asajew, and the guy who threw Bar Kamtza out of his party and ostensibly set off the chain of events that led to the destruction of the Second Temple and our current...
Jun 24, 2021, 5:28 PM
Korach and Bilaam: Original critical theorists
Scratch a (most likely) rich intersectional progressive who touts critical theory and is a purported MOT, and you’ve found a spiritual heir to both Korach and Bilaam. Critical theorist and progressive attacks on Jews and Judaism go all the way...
Aug 22, 2020, 1:12 AM
Parshas Shoftim: More Police
Parshas Shoftim is bookended by the command at the beginning fo the parsha to appoint judges to decide the law and police to enforce it, and at the end by the mitzvah of egla arufa, the ceremony involving breaking the neck...
Jul 29, 2020, 9:55 PM
Kamtza/Bar Kamtza – Punk’d?
"A certain man had a friend named Kamtza and an enemy named Bar Kamtza. He made a banquet and asked his servant to invite Kamtza. The servant mistakenly invited Bar Kamtza" So begins the narrative about the Second Churban and...
May 2, 2020, 12:21 PM
What would Halacha say now, Rebbetzin?
Eighteen months ago—during the brouhaha surrounding the impending Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and the teenage crimes he was accused of—an ostensible Halachic analysis appeared in the pages of the Forward which concluded that one was required as...
Mar 24, 2020, 11:28 PM
The Only Appropriate Chumra, Right Now
Two rabbinic anecdotes that may have bearing on the current Coronavirus matzav. The first involves Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, who once had to adjudicate a case of an ill individual eating on Yom Kippur. When asked if he was thereby being...
Mar 5, 2020, 9:35 PM
Stop Lying. You First.
In theory, there would be a lot to agree with in Shaul Magid’s recent Tablet’s piece about the actual non-viability of the “two-state solution”, and he at times does a credible job of recounting some of the historical factors...
Jan 22, 2020, 2:21 AM
As we begin to read the Torah portions dealing directly with the Exodus from Egypt, we are reminded of the Passover Haggadah's four hypothetical children attending the hypothetical seder: the wise child, wicked child, simple child, and the child...
Dec 20, 2019, 10:31 PM
Chanukah and Intersectionellenism
The late eminent atheist (and, as it turned out, genealogical Jew) Christopher Hitchens had a particularly nasty bug up his nose about Chanukah: “When the fanatics of Palestine won that victory, and when Judaism repudiated Athens for Jerusalem, the development...
Jon Taub is an ex-Upper West Sider, now-married Riverdalean who has two MA's, plays three instruments, and consults for biostartups.