Cervantes and the Serenity Prayer (More OCD Fragments)

March 9, 2015

“Something, however (wouldn’t you know?), does happen to come to mind. (I don’t imagine it’s precisely the thing I’m looking for, but I can’t simply throw it out.” – Salinger, Seymour: An Introduction 1 The girl is setting up at the cafe when I arrive – unloading ice, carrying the free book rack out to […]

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The Devil and Everything Else (More OCD Fragments)

March 7, 2015

1 I walk underneath the strung lights, dribbling and skipping on my mouth trumpet. (You haven’t not heard of it; I just make trumpet sounds with my mouth.) A little cluster of folks, kibitzing. My voice dips, but I refuse its quavering – full steam!

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What is Faith Worth? A Response to Jeremy Sher

March 2, 2015

In an essay published in Fair Observer, rabbi-in-training Jeremy Sher argues: “Faith itself is more important than the God that the faith professes to be in.” For Sher, God doesn’t exist – at least not in any of the ways we normally use the word.

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Living with OCD and a Partner

February 24, 2015

My girlfriend is a huge source of relief from my OCD cycles: her natural reactions to what I’m going through help me understand how unnatural it is. At the same time, our relationship triggers all kinds of new worries, and it leaves me in perpetual confusion: how do I take good care of myself, while […]

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Ministry Without Metaphysics: Toward a More Ethical Ministry Program at Harvard Divinity School

February 7, 2015

In a recent essay about my time at Harvard Divinity School, I argued that a culture of lazy pluralism dominates life at the school. At HDS, I suggested, it’s legitimate to ask any question you like of religion – except the two that matter most.

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Harvard Divinity School and the Ethics of Training Ministers: Some Responses

January 26, 2015

Recently I posted an essay about my experiences at Harvard Divinity School. In particular, I argued that because HDS is so concerned with making its students feel comfortable, intellectual and ethical standards suffer.

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The Perils of Lazy Pluralism (Should Harvard Divinity School Still Exist?)

January 24, 2015

During my second year at Harvard Divinity School, I listened to a classmate describe a challenge she’d experienced as a Sunday school teacher. She had planned a lesson on Noah and the Ark; instead of listening, her students galloped around the room, knocking things over and making a mess. My first reaction was “Good!”

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