Allen: When we first moved in together, Aron, you placed in the kitchen a large wooden sign from your childhood: “Kosher Only.” This was obviously an ironic statement; even so, I took it down whenever I hosted non-observant guests. I didn’t want to seem intolerant. But one could make the case that the whole edifice of… Read More Not Kosher, Not Welcome
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Allen: Our society’s recently undergone a momentous transfer of power representing an abrupt shift from the longtime norms of democratic leadership. I’m referring, of course, to the new director of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Rabbi Ethan Linden. I’ve heard only good things, though you and I are both a bit removed from the camp scene… Read More Camp Ramah: The First 100 Days
Allen: Aron, at this point we’ve both had the chance to stake out and criticize each other’s stances on God (see here and here). My question for this post is the following: How does your theology translate to tefillah? At the outset, let’s concede that this conversation is bound to be a theoretical one. We’re communicating through a… Read More I Pray to God…
Allen: Dear Mr. Borans, My name is Allen Lipson; I affiliated with Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Iota Chapter at Columbia University from 2011 to 2013. Despite my decision to leave the fraternity my third year of college, I’ve not figured out how to unsubscribe from your emails, your magazine, or your generous (yet alas, still unaffordable) Brooks… Read More Fraternally Yours: An Open Letter to Andy Borans
Aron: We’ve spoken before (or at least I have) about problematic parts of the Torah. These aren’t limited to gleeful descriptions of violence; there’s also the prohibition on homosexual sex, the death penalty for Sabbath-transgressors, and a host of other bad things. Each week, though, we read the Torah aloud, bad things included. As liberal Jews,… Read More Torah, Torah, Torah
(Originally published on IfNotNow Torah’s Medium account) “And Aaron was silent.” That’s it. That’s all the Torah tells us about how Aaron, the high priest, reacts to the sudden death of his sons. Those four words, though, push us to think about how we treat people who are in pain or grieving. In this week’s parshah,… Read More Shemini: How (Not) to Approach People in Pain