Two Requests of The YU Board

Published: January-03-2017       Author: Doron Levine

The Yeshiva University Board of Trustees needs to be a bit less transparent. An opaque object, even if mysterious and unknowable, is at least perceptible to the eye; but the YU Board is as undetectable as pellucid glass. Any bird who’s ever had the painful experience of flying into a window will understand what I’m saying. Better to be translucent and at least noticeable than transparent and not visible at all. This is not a mindless screed against the Board,... Read more

Say What You Wanna Say

Published: December-18-2016       Author: Doron Levine

Here are two questions: Was Ben Shapiro nice? Was Ben Shapiro correct? Upon reflection, it is clear that these two questions are unrelated. One can be correct and nice, correct and not nice, not correct and nice, or not correct and not nice. This mutual independence applies to propositions that, in some contexts, are plainly insulting. A doctor asks his patient to step onto the scale and proceeds to grossly misread the patient’s weight. He gently informs the poor fellow... Read more

A Letter to Rabbi Berman

Published: November-27-2016       Author: The Commentator Editorial Board

Dear Rabbi Berman, Over the past few months, you have met with the elites and the bigwigs, the university stakeholders who run this institution on the macro level. You have conferred with board members and administrators, and presumably developed some impressions of the university that they run. But now it’s time for you to meet us. The students. We are a patchwork, a collection of young adults more diverse than we might appear. We are inspired and disaffected, wealthy and... Read more

Not a Theocracy

Published: November-27-2016       Author: Doron Levine

I rarely furrow my brow. But Rabbi Brander’s recent email condemning one student’s display of a Confederate flag at the election-night party in the Morgenstern Lounge inspired in me an uncommon display of forehead gymnastics. Appealing to “our foundational Jewish values” based on the teachings of Avraham and “the values of Halacha,” Rabbi Brander offered this southern student the benefit of the doubt while simultaneously denouncing any display of the Confederate flag since it is “a symbol too closely linked... Read more

What Sort of President Does YU Need? President Joel’s Unwitting Advice

Published: November-06-2016       Author: Doron Levine

Nothing flies higher than a lame duck. Blissfully freed from his ability to effect real change on the ground, a president at the tail end of his term has the opportunity to peacefully soar; to zoom out and survey the landscape of his service from a wide angle; to draw conclusions and proffer advice to those of his subjects who are still willing to listen. Enjoying this panoramic perspective, President Joel recently published an article in The Huffington Post called... Read more

Red, White, and Gray: Why The Commentator is Fundamentally Boring

Published: September-18-2016       Author: Doron Levine

Anything worth hating is also worth loving. Alessia Cara subtly proposes this principle in her hit song “Here” when she describes a female partygoer “talking ‘bout her haters” but quickly rejoins—“she ain’t got none.” Snide indeed, but Cara’s censure of her fellow fridge-congregant implies more than mere malice. Even as she broodingly denounces the scrofulous tactic of lying in the interest of self-aggrandizement, her harsh criticism suggests familiarity with a paradoxical truth about human nature: that people enjoy being hated.... Read more

Newspapers: Defenders of Conversation and Great Writing

Published: May-10-2016       Author: Yechiel Schwab

With the end of the school year seemingly behind us, I can’t help but look back on these past ten months, and, more specifically, the triumphs and struggles of this paper. Reflecting on the work done by the many editors and writers of this newspaper, I feel a great deal of pride in the incredible job we did, and a tinge of guilt and regret about the stories we didn’t write or could have written better. While watching the film... Read more

Stop Focusing on the Face; Focus on the Rest

Published: April-18-2016       Author: Avi Strauss

We humans like to draw our attention to the face. A quick scan is all we need to generate a first impression, and given that faces tend not to be hidden, we figure our cursory evaluation is more than sufficient for sizing up the visage to which we’ve turned our attention. Similarly, we use the face as a means to describe a large part of the whole, even when it only represents a fraction of that whole. Sure, we recognize... Read more

A Sad and Insulting Excuse for Student Input

Published: March-28-2016       Author: Yechiel Schwab

As consumers of the college experience with a vested interest in our institution’s success, students offer a unique and important perspective on the inner workings of our University. But despite the easy availability of this valuable viewpoint, many decisions in this University are conducted with little or no student input. YCSA President Josh Nagel’s article from two issues ago, “The Yeshiva College Student Senate,” and Shai Berman’s article from last issue, “The Search for YU’s Next President: Exclusion, Priorities, and... Read more

Practicing Ethical Writing

Published: February-28-2016       Author: Yadin Teitz

There was time when writing was a skill, a coveted medium reserved exclusively for scribes of the very powerful, for the most lofty of thinkers, for the literary geniuses of the world, and for the mightiest wielders of the pen. For much of our history, large amounts of the world’s population could not read, and certainly could not write. Over time, as books and newspapers and letter-writing became more and more common, and prices of paper and ink went down,... Read more

Page 1 of 512345