Tablet Magazine Response to Coronavirus (Make Brooklyn Great Again)

It is not just the this or that one-off, but the gamut of Covod related content that suggests that Tablet Magazine is a MAGA Jewish outfit. I’m offering below titles, subtitles, and links to what I think is a representative sample of what’s on view there.

From multiple authors, the content is permeated by skepiicism about scientific expertise, sniping at NYS and NYC pols, a need-to-get-back-to-normal-now point of view, and a full-throated defense of Haredi communities, their norms and their values….because Haredi Jews are being scapegoated by liberals…because they represent authentic Yiddishkeyt.

Most of what I found is from 2020.

In a nutshell, what drives the coverage at Tablet is [1] an anti-Semitism schrei in reaction to government response to Haredi response to the pandemic, [2] universal contempt for all things liberal, and [3] special nostalgia for all things Haredi.

None of this should surprise anyone. I will be very happy to take down or modify this post if anyone out there finds Covid content, more than a one-off, at the site that forms part of a different and consistent point of view. for now, I’m going to double down: people who “like” Tablet mainstream Tablet.

America’s Smug Elite Is Harming Our Kids

The push to decouple skepticism from science turns schoolchildren into victims

Williamsburg’s Jewish Liberated Zone Declares War on Clown Mayor de Blasio

Woke nonsense, bigoted targeting of their community, can’t keep children out of their playgrounds

Religion, Science, and the Religion of Science

New York’s scapegoated Haredi communities appear to be the last Americans capable of maintaining a sane balance between science and faith

The Herd Immunity Taboo

Purity and danger: Why some are strangely comforted by lockdowns, fearful of herd immunity, and quick to punish anyone who questions the stark choice between them

To Balance Public Health and Religious Freedom, We Need Something Better Than Bill de Blasio’s Dumb Tweets

How the mayor put New York City in legal jeopardy while endangering public health

The Blood on de Blasio’s Hands

He bungled his COVID-19 response, plunging the city into a charnel. Now he is blaming the Jews.

The Coronavirus Is Killing Off American Jewish Institutional Life

With emptying coffers and no end in sight, many Jewish institutions no longer see COVID-19 as a crisis to weather, but rather as a new reality

The COVID Class War Heats Up

It isn’t only about the virus, and will continue even after the lockdowns are lifted

Science Says

Becoming worshippers at the altar of ‘Science.’ Bad for our health, bad for science, bad for society.

Cuomo, de Blasio Scapegoat Exasperated Jewish Communities in Brooklyn for Coronavirus Spike

Grandstanding politicians and densely packed devout communities do a dance of mutual incomprehension, Sukkot festivities and schools are shut down

What Hasidic Communities Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus

For Hasidic residents of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, having a doctor who understands their culture can be a matter of life and death—especially in the age of COVID-19

COVID-19, Haredi Jewry, and ‘Magical’ Thinking

During quarantine, we judge the ultra-Orthodox for practicing what other Jews preach

Our Bodies, Our Shuls

Any congregation that takes any measure that bars any Jew from praying in communion on the Days of Awe is divesting itself from the very core of Jewish life


“Our Bodies, Our Shuls” elicited a firestorm of critical response, especially from liberal rabbis, community people, and Jewish Studies. To provide cover, the editors at Tablet quickly (within days) agreed to publish the item that follows. This item is a full-on, direct rebuke of “Our Bodies, Our Shuls.” I will only note that it is the only pro-vaccination item I’ve seen at Tablet, which makes it a one-off. Critical readers will also note that it does so by way of a model of Haredi normativity; that too is par for course at Tablet and an essential part of its overall pattern of snide anti-liberal messaging.

No Shots, No Service

Bar the unvaccinated from my synagogue? As a rabbi, I have no choice.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to Tablet Magazine Response to Coronavirus (Make Brooklyn Great Again)

  1. dmf says:

    In some ways I appreciate how Trumpism has freed people to show their true stripes.
    this might be of interest ( I’d never heard of Salomo Friedländer before.

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