Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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Wear Your Masks!

As of this writing, May 21, 2020, the CDC and the state of New Jersey recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public. New York also requires it. While self quarantined, I have been out walking and/or cycling every day. Why do I see 90% of the frum community not wearing masks or some other face covering?


The Silver Lining

As drastic as the coronavirus is in our community and our beloved country, there may be a hidden bracha in this devastating magefa. I will describe this later.

I am happy about the spate of articles and letters to the editor about the problem of yeshiva


We Took a Hike!

We would like to thank Daniel Chazin for his insightful “Hike to the Top of Campgaw Mountain” article in this past issue (May 21, 2020). It was a great reminder that we can all still get out and get exercise in fresh air if we do so responsibly. Our family had an amazing hike on Memorial Day following Danny’s


Masks Are Necessary Only in Controlled Environments

In Frank Breslau’s letter to the editor, “We Should All Be Wearing Masks” (May 21, 2020), he writes that studies have demonstrated that “just talking can launch thousands of droplets that can remain suspended in the air for eight to 14 minutes.” Consequently, he concludes that one should wear a face mask when


Inclusivity vs. Exclusivity

Yasher koach to Yair Daar in his letter last week (“Thriving Jewish Communities are for Everyone” May 21, 2020) and for even (possibly unintentionally) connecting it to his Kids Link story (“What Are You Worth?”) that each person is important and counts even if you only give a half-shekel (which was the reason for


The Importance of Jewish Schools

I read Rabbi Rosen’s letter “A Well-Rounded Jewish and Educational Experience” (May 21, 2020), and found it to be a well-argued explanation for how the role of a Jewish school is so much more than simply teaching the subjects normally classified as Torah. I would like to add to his points another aspect that, while


The Best Way Forward

I keep hearing experts speak of goals such as opening the economy, opening schools, opening shuls, opening…

Of course these are important, BUT they miss the strategic definition of a goal.

I believe the appropriate strategic goal is: the long term health and safety


Thank You KBY

I want to thank Murray Sragow for his recent article “An Unusual Pesach at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh” (May 7, 2020). As the parents of two sons who attended KBY this year and chose to stay for Pesach and kayitz z’man, we are so grateful for all that KBY has done for its talmidim. They have gone above and beyond what any other hesder


Thriving Jewish Communities Are for Everyone

I was saddened to read letters last week in which writers suggested that families leave the community if it becomes too expensive (“A Different Perspective,” May 14, 2020; “Be Happy With What You Have,” May 14, 2020). These writers seem to lack empathy for those who might have lived in this area their entire


We Should All Be Wearing Masks

The problem with not wearing a face mask outside (“Take Seriously, but Don’t Scare,” May 14, 2020) is that studies have shown that “just talking can launch thousand of droplets that can remain suspended in the air for 8 to 14 minutes.” This means that wearing a mask is a protection against spreading the virus to


A Well-Rounded Jewish and Educational Experience

Yigal Gross, in his letter, asked “What Is a Jewish Education?” (May 14, 2020). This is a fair question, but I fear that his answer is not accurate and leads to some problematic conclusions. Mr. Gross sees the Jewish classes as the essence and the secular classes, no matter how excellent, as adjunct, and not part of


On the Invention of the Alphabet

I read the article “The Invention of the Alphabet” (May 14, 2020) with a lot of interest as I always do with Mr. First’s articles. I even preserved this particular one to use as a prop in my Hebrew lectures.

However, there was a very confusing statement