Israel’s Post-Secularist Nation-State Law Upholds Democracy

Published: February-09-2015       Author: Harel Kopelman

By: Harel Kopelman Lost in the conversation over Israel’s nation-state law, a bill that seeks to define Israel primarily as a Jewish state before its democratic designation, is an oft-overlooked question: what is democracy? Democracy’s earliest, most notable iteration comes from Athens. It was the fruit of a class struggle against tight-fisted aristocratic rulers who imposed draconian laws (such as the death penalty for loitering) on the general populace. The premier archon at the time was poet-statesman Solon, who expanded... Read more

Creating a Community of Support

Published: February-09-2015       Author: Daniel Atwood

By: Daniel Atwood As 2014 ended, so did the life of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender girl from Ohio who committed suicide after a short life of suffering. Her suicide made waves, trending all over national news and social media. In her final words, Leelah describes herself as feeling rejected by her parents, aloof from her friends, and as having no choice but to end her own life. With Leelah’s story in mind, I want to address the YU... Read more

The Einstein Equation

Published: February-09-2015       Author: Arieh Levi

By: Arieh Levi There’s a fine line between pessimism and realism. Where a pessimist sees a half-empty glass – careful to emphasize ‘empty’ in describing the glass – a realist sees a single cup holding water. No superlatives or adjectives are necessary to describe the realist’s world; data is simply collected, questioned, and forged into reasoned analyses. It is a mechanical and computational process, most effective when performed divorced from emotion. Our data-driven society straddles this human divide between pessimism... Read more

A Call for Safe Space

Published: April-04-2014       Author: Dasha Sominski

In many ways, my upbringing was what one would call classically Chabad. 14 children (7 girls and 7 boys – the ultimate embodiment of justice), pictures of the Rebbe on the walls, stockings in the summer. I, too, akin to, presumably, the majority of this audience, harbored genuine hopes of one day, creating a Bayit Neeman with a man. Perhaps in my mind he would secretly play the violin in the attic instead of learning or write poetry on the... Read more

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