Holiness and Public Policy: The Haredi Response to COVID-19

Bnei Brak, where yeshivot and synagogues were kept open far too long, accounted for 16 percent of all Israeli COVID-19 cases and a comparable percentage of fatalities despite comprising only 2 percent of the Israeli population. We haredim must radically rethink our approach to public policy—and holiness.


Not a Nice Boy

To every author who seemed too cautious—which was nearly every author he knew—Roth gave the same advice. “You are not a nice boy,” he told the British playwright David Hare. His friend Benjamin Taylor’s memoir is . . . nice.


In Morningstar Heights, Joshua Henkin tells his story simply and directly, with a narrative economy that conceals much close observation and human understanding. These have always been the strengths of his work, though they are not the qualities best rewarded in contemporary American fiction.

The Law of the Baby

Mara Benjamin provides a deeply philosophical account, in loving, sometimes humorous detail, of what it is like to live under the Law of the Baby—and uses it, together with incisive readings of classical Jewish texts, to explore the nature of obligation in Judaism.

Double Lifers

In 2006, a blogger known as Baal Habos posted about a former rebbe who had once compared heretical media to “a hole in the head.” By then he had become a “ba’al ha-bos” (roughly, a family man), with a position in the community he wasn’t comfortable giving up, he had acquired plenty of holes in his head and wanted to discuss them—anonymously.

“We Found Our Outrage”

On March 2, 2015, a handful of campus activists announced that Andrew Pessin was an anti-Palestinian bigot. “I feel unsafe,” wrote Lamiya Khandaker, the student chair of diversity and equity at Connecticut College.

My Scandalous Rejection of Unorthodox

All of us in the online OTD community have gone through some version of the transformation Unorthodox dramatizes, and we gobble down and fiercely debate every new OTD memoir that hits the shelves, every documentary and movie that comes out.


Lost & Found

Last Word

Past Issues