Why Pandemics Happen to Good People
What theological language can we use to describe our current pandemic moment? In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Jeremy Brown takes scope of the ancient and modern notions of plague theodicy and reviews some ideas from the 2021 National Jewish Book Award Winner Torah in a Time of Plague.
From Polemic to Pandemic: The Past, Present, and Future of Hazarat...
Post-pandemic proposals to omit hazarat ha-shatz on a permanent basis have been soundly rejected by halakhic authorities. Is this due exclusively to halakhic considerations, or are additional factors at play? Yosie Levine contends that Ashkenazic rabbinic opposition to 19th-century attempts to eliminate hazarat ha-shatz may still be shaping halakhic discourse today.
The Pandemic Theology Dilemma: Preserve Normalcy or Embrace Crisis?
Shlomo Zuckier explores competing theological trends underlying rabbinic guidance at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cities of Crumbling Walls: What The Talmud Can Teach Us About...
What can the Talmud teach us about living through a pandemic? Avi Strausberg argues that it teaches us quite a bit about strengthening acts of kindness and solidarity in our communities.
Taking Responsibility For Halakhic Guidance: A Response to Ezra Schwartz
In this response to last week’s article by Ezra Schwartz, Nathaniel Helfgot wonders whether the new pandemic-fueled trend toward centralized halakhic decision-making overburdens the most learned rabbis and takes too much autonomy from the others.
Decentralization and Centralization: A COVID Tale of the Modern Orthodox Community
As the Covid-19 pandemic looks like it might be subsiding, Ezra Schwartz, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, incisively examines competing trends toward decentralization of synagogue life and centralization of halakhic decision-making that are reshaping the Modern Orthodox world.
The Unique Obligation of Healthcare Workers to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
Sharon Galper Grossman and Shamai Grossman examine Halakhic sources regarding whether physicians and other healthcare workers have a greater requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than the rest of the population.
Social Distancing in the Rabbinic Tradition
Jeremy Brown discusses some remarkable Talmudic and historical precedents for social distancing during pandemics.