Monthly Archives: March 2020

(Liberal Judaism) Virtual Synagogue (Ansche Coronavirus)

Is the future of liberal Judaism the religion of inwardness: prayer, study, and mindfulness? Will be curious to hear how participation tanks or actually ticks up a little or a lot.  Every Monday, Mar 23 – Jun 29 Monday Meditation … Continue reading

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Virtual Shabbat (Liberal Judaism) (Coronavirus)

Not terribly enthusiastic, I’ve been not thinking enough about the phenomenon that will be live streaming Shabbat and other tefilot and the many aesthetic choices that will matter going forward. This one conveys something to do with the aesthetics of … Continue reading

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Pikuach Nefesh Is/Is Not An Overriding Halakhic Value

I’ll might take this post down because maybe I’m getting it terribly wrong. But I’m going to give it a shot. The principle of Pikuch Nefesh (saving life) is a well-known and a cardinal principle of Jewish law. The notion … Continue reading

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(Plague) Black Wedding (Bnei Brak) (Coronavirus)

What’s modern? What’s archaic? What now? As we begin to enter deeply into this time of epidemic, a lot of “us” are going to be looking at Haredi communities and how they respond to the crisis. The ordinary tendency to … Continue reading

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The Unsearchable Human Heart Of Government (Shabbat 11a)

In line with the Book of Proverbs and the vast scope of responsibility, the rabbis about government and the political heart were Weberian in their practical realism and bleak view of things. Michael Satlow posted on FB this beautiful gemara, … Continue reading

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(Not) Closing Haredi Yeshivot (Letters Responding to Coronavirus)

Remarkable little documents, here are the original Hebrew language sources and English language translations of two responses, letters from leading lights from the Haredi world, regarding the not closing or closing of yeshivot in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The … Continue reading

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Fear of A Lost Haredi Coronavirus Generation (Why the Haredim Will Not and Cannot Close Yeshivot to Protect Human Life)

[h/t William Kolbrener] People who know better know better, and please help me out here. But among Jews and maybe even gentiles, among secular and liberal and modern orthodox Jews, among Jewish thought leaders (legal theorists and ethicists), there is … Continue reading

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Empty City Empty Shabbat (Coronavirus)

It’s almost sundown and New York City is shutting down, schools, museums, concert halls, Broadway, synagogues and churches, as if for the Sabbath. The entire civic ritual system in its public aspect is grinding down to a halt, moving deeper … Continue reading

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Plague in the City (Bava Kamma 60b)

[[Michel Serre, Vue de la Cours pendant la peste de 1720]] What to do during the time of plague? “A person should always.” “The Sages taught.” “What is the reason?” “And if you should say.” “The sages taught.” “The sages … Continue reading

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(Theoretical Hot Take) Agamben Jumps the Coronavirus Shark

[h/t Samuel Moyn, Dana Hollander]. You can download this little bit here, a bad theoretical hot take by Agamben about states of exception and the “invention of an epidemic.”  Jean-Luc Nancy responds here. English translations and more contintental philosophers on … Continue reading

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