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Modern Orthodoxy—Modern or Orthodox?

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Modern Orthodoxy. Either you are modern or you are Orthodox, my friend Josh Notkin taught me. If you are Orthodox, then that must be the essence of who you are, it’s your philosophy of life. Being modern is simply a flavor and secondary and can influence our way of being Orthodox, but modern secular values must never be...

No Makeup Please

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It is hard being a woman. We have to do everything and do it well in order to avoid criticism. Let’s be honest, we live in a man’s world—they get paid more, they get better jobs, they lose weight faster and they don’t have to shave if they don’t want to. You think a man would be able to tolerate laser hair removal? Or waxing? It just doesn’t seem fair. Not to mention that they never have to go through childbirth or the monthly inconveniences that come with being of the female gender. We won’t even go into the whole mikvah thing, as this is a family paper. All I will say about that is that before the Teaneck mikvah was redone, and you would have to take a number to wait in...

Living Like Animals

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Ever since I first ran a column that suggested that my wife and I are looking for a bigger house, people have been asking me how the search is going.

You’d think that big houses wouldn’t be hard to find. They’re big. How can they hide?

So usually, I try to change the topic. Which reminds me, we haven’t spoken about art in a while.

Frequent readers of my column will know that I don’t really understand art. For example, I don’t understand the artist in France, Abraham Poincheval, who recently spent two weeks living inside a bear.

Okay, this bear wasn’t alive. I don’t know if that makes it better.

The bear in question was actually a stuffed bear. Not a teddy bear—an...

The Trouble With ‘Hashtag Activism’

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People like to joke that one of the main ways they get their news is through Facebook. For me, sadly, it’s not a joke anymore. I’ve found out about far too many world happenings through Facebook; most recently, I noticed posts referencing new police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement, and found out about the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the policemen murdered in Dallas.

Tel Aviv, Israel. Orlando, Florida. Baghdad, Iraq. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Dallas, Texas. What loosely ties these locations together is the violence and bloodshed that has struck them in recent memory. The attacks in each location are very...

ORA Hopes to Provide Solutions for Agunot

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It was reported after the Gulf War that one of the merits responsible for ending a vicious SCUD bombing attack without injuries was an agunah who stepped into the street and declared publicly that she forgave her “husband” for decades of refusal to issue a get, a Halachic writ of divorce (From Our Sealed Rooms, Targum Press, 1991).

One of the most challenging situations to manage in Jewish law is the circumstance that creates an agunah—literally a woman “chained or anchored” to marriage by halacha. In current times, an agunah refers primarily to a woman whose husband refuses to issue a contract of Jewish divorce—even when they both agree that they no longer want to be...

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