Three Great Weekend Reads

Is there an inherent beauty to reality?

What do grammarians say about preferred pronouns?

Is it time to start planning your post-Covid vacation?

That there is an inherent ‘beauty’ and ‘elegance’ to the laws of nature is a view that permeates the field of physics. But, according to the German theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, the notion that the further you peer into reality, the easier the equation gets, has no basis in reality.

What’s new isn’t the generic pronoun but the referential pronoun: the one that refers to a known person (Bill, John, Krys, or Emily). People are deciding for themselves how they want to be referred to behind their backs — in the third person… A social movement is behind the idea that people get to decide how references to them should sound when they’re absent.

While coronavirus experts differ in their willingness to engage in air travel for not-strictly-essential purposes (like visiting family), it’s clear that getting on a plane during a pandemic does involve some level of risk. But as vaccines roll out, it may have crossed your mind: When is a realistic time to finally book tickets to fly somewhere?

The answer is pretty simple: Book the trip

Three Great Jewish Reads

How are Jewish students fighting campus antisemitism?

Did Conservative Judaism save Orthodoxy?

Should Jews embrace Critical Race Theory?

College anti-Semitism is alive and seething, likely at a university near you. Brave Jewish students who find themselves in its crosshairs are making a difference, although it can be exhausting.

… the movement should be acknowledged by one and all, especially by today’s Orthodox, as having been a transitional movement that “conserved” American Judaism for the ultimate resurgence of Orthodoxy. Recall that at the end of World War II, nobody thought there was a future for Orthodoxy any longer.

While many thinkers within the school of [Critical Race Theory] continue to see Jews as “white” or part of an oppressive group, it’s also a tool that can be used to discuss legal discrimination against Jews in the United States… Regardless of how important a tool it is, it’s not the only tool.

Commentary on Parashat Ki Tisa

This week at the Jewish Journal, Parashat Ki Tisa is under discussion. Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) – begins with the census of the people of Israel and with further instructions concerning the Tabernacle and the Shabbat. The portion then proceeds to tell the story of the Golden Calf, Moses’ plea to god, the splitting of the Tablets into two, and the giving of the second tablets.

“Why didn’t Aaron stop the people from making the golden calf? Aaron’s left alone by himself. He’s never been by himself without Moses telling him what to do. Also, Aaron is a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace.”

During Moses’ time on the mountain, the Israelites assumed his absence meant that he had abandoned them. Among child psychologists, this would be called an anxious, rather than a secure, attachment style. The securely attached child will cry when their caregiver departs, but will soon calm down, confident that their caregiver will, in time, return. The anxiously attached child has no such confidence in the future. Every departure is experienced as the last.

When the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron, and they said to him: “Come! Make us a god that will go before us, because this man Moses, who brought us up from the land of Egypt we do not know what has become of him.” -Exodus 32:1

Rabbi Chaim Tureff: It’s not so out of the ordinary that they went back to old habits at a time of fear. Although the Ramban and Ibn Ezra go out of their way to point out that the Jews were not interested in worshipping idols, it’s not strange to think that they were.

Three New Jewish Podcasts

Just in time for the weekend, three new podcasts about Judaism, Jewish culture, and Israel.

A conversation with Shanni Suissa on the latest craze in social media, Clubhouse.

“The thing that’s really unique about Clubhouse is that it doesn’t incorporate images or messages. It’s all audio.”

Shmuel Rosner and Natan Slifkin discuss his latest book, “Rationalism vs. Mysticism: Schisms in Traditional Jewish Thought.”

“Certain aspects of Orthodoxy today, such as the role of science and the role of material endeavor, are not in line with how the great medieval Torah scholars approached these issues.”

Everybody knows Stan Lee, but nobody knows Stan Lee— except people like critically-acclaimed writer Abraham Riesman, who has written a new book about the late Marvel Comics founder. Riesman joins the Bagels to discuss “True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee,” which shatters fans’ assumptions about the life of the man who started out as Stanley Lieber.

Today’s Hot Issues

Three Great Weekend Reads Three Great Jewish Reads Commentary on Parashat Ki Tisa Three New Jewish Podcasts