A Cosmic Puzzle Best Left Unsolved: A Review of Harold Gans’s New Book

Ben Rothke reviews Harold Gans's new book The Cosmic Puzzle: A Scientific Investigation into the Existence of God, asking the question: Is the proof of God best left to the scientific method?

A Time To Keep Silence, and A Time To Speak

Tragic events this past summer brought a wave of protests against racial injustice that shows few signs of abating. Yitzhak Grossman shares how rabbinic leaders in the United States and Israel have historically approached the tactic of protest, and explores what their views might mean for our current moment.

Teshuvah, From the (Dis)comfort of Your Own Home

After six months suspended between quarantine, isolation, and uncertainty, it’s natural to want to run away from home, especially as Yom Kippur looms and we realize it’s time for a change. But, as Matthew Nitzanim explains, this understandable reaction would miss the point of Teshuvah: everything we need to work on is right here, wherever it is we find ourselves.

Return… Again? Theories of Twice-Baked Teshuvah

Lehrhaus founder Shlomo Zuckier examines the debate about whether we can repeat Teshuvah for the same sin.

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.

Written and Sealed (and Stamped) in the Book of Life

We will all be much more distant from each other this Rosh Hashanah. That’s why, argues Ranana Dine, it’s time to revive the tradition of sending physical greeting cards.

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.

Rabbi Steinsaltz: An Open Secret

What led Rav Steinsaltz to inaugurate a yeshiva in the Soviet House of Sciences on February 22, 1989? In honor of R. Steinzlatz's sheloshim, Yehiel Poupko, a first-hand witness, offers a glimpse into the inner world of his mentor.

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.