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Why Wasn’t Jonah Punished? Reading Jonah during COVID

This year, instead of thinking about the reasons for Jonah’s flight from Nineveh in particular, we can gain a new appreciation for his need to break free altogether. Ahead of Yom Kippur, Erica Brown considers the unique resonance of the book of Jonah in an era marked by isolation and quarantine.

When Things Go Back to Normal

Given the duration of the pandemic, should we suffice with waiting to return to normal, or are there hard-fought lesssons we can reintroduce even once the pandemic passes? Lehrhaus Consulting Editor and Director of Education at Sefaria, Sara Wolkenfeld, uses our recent experiences to gain new perspective on what tefilla, minyan and shul are really all about.

From Graduation to Contagion: Jewish Physicians Confront Plague in 1631

Contemporary physicians have been heroic in the battle against COVID-19, but what was it like to be one of a handful of Jewish doctors confronting the Bubonic Plague during the 17th-century in Italy? Prolific medical halakhist and historian Eddie Reichman takes a close look at the four Jewish graduates of the Padua medical school class of 1623.

Also the Diseases

At the height of the cholera epidemic in 1831, Hatam Sofer delivered a timely sermon on a perplexing midrash to Parshat Ki Tavo. The take-home, suggests Elli Fischer, is all-too familiar in the COVID era.

Signing Up for a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

May one opt to participate in a potentially dangerous vaccine trial? This theoretical halakhic question has suddenly become ll-too-urgent. Sharon Galper Grossman and Shamai Grossman explore.

A Yahrzeit & A Pandemic: Thoughts On R. Amital In...

In commemoration of Rav Amital's tenth Yahrzeit, Joe Wolfson, JLIC Rabbi at NYU, shares how the legacy of Rav Amital inspired his community's humanitarian efforts during the Covid19 pandemic.

Psalm 121: Of Pilgrims, Perils, and a Personal God

Psalm 121, recited fervently in online prayer spaces and from the Senate floor alike since March, is subject to a seemingly mind-boggling array of interpretations. Michael Weiner blazes a path through the interpretive chaos.

The Loneliest Communal Prayer

As the tumultuous events of 2020 continue into the heady days of summer, the Lehrhaus is looking back, with short reflections on the moments we have been thinking about. Our first reflection is from new Lehrhaus editor Yosef Lindell, thinking about his lonely return to communal prayer.

Coping under Corona: A Review of Halakhic Approaches to Mental Health...

Covid-19 has underscored the extent to which Halakhah is profoundly concerned for mental well-being. Addressing this timely issue, Sharon Galper Grossman and Shamai A. Grossman offer a comprehensive overview of relevant halakhic perspectives on mental health and Halakhah.

Pidyon Shevuyim and the Pandemic

Jesse Lempel argues that the halakhic category of pidyon shevuyim might extend to prisoners held in unsafe conditions, safe as during the current pandemic.