Drew Kaplan's Tumblr Page
"Undoubtedly, the most hotly debated set of issues concerns the status of Orthodox women"

"Undoubtedly, the most hotly debated set of issues concerns the status of Orthodox women" -Jack Werheimer in @MosaicMag

Undoubtedly, the most hotly debated set of issues concerns the status of Orthodox women. Sexual equality is now taken for granted in most Modern Orthodox homes, and holding males and females to different standards is increasingly unthinkable. Under the circumstances, why should it not occur to some girls that they too might don t’filin(phylacteries), traditionally the accoutrements of male…

View On WordPress

"The greatest threat to Jewish life in the United States is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s religious illiteracy"

"The greatest threat to Jewish life in the United States is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" -@PeterBeinart #Israel

The greatest threat to Jewish life in the United States is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s religious illiteracy. The American Jewish community represents an unprecedented experiment in what happens when you combine mass ignorance of Jewish law and tradition with radical acceptance by the gentile world. The result is tragic. It’s not tragic because more than seventy percent of…

View On WordPress

"Wonder Woman is so hard to put on film because the fight for women’s rights has gone so badly"

The much cited difficulties regarding putting Wonder Woman on film—Wonder Woman isn’t big enough, and neither are Gal Gadot’s breasts—aren’t chiefly about Wonder Woman, or comic books, or superheroes, or movies. They’re about politics. Superman owes a debt to science fiction, Batman to the hardboiled detective. Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that…

View On WordPress

"Weird Al has been cool for so long because pop makes everybody feel uncool; that he is the only one to admit it has made him a pop star"

"Weird Al has been cool for so long because pop makes everybody feel uncool…" -@SFJ on @AlYankovic #WeirdAl

Anxiety starts early for pop audiences. For decades, I have had twenty-somethings tell me that they don’t know what’s on the charts, haven’t listened to any new artists since college, and don’t “know anything about music.” They feel confused by how quickly the value of their knowledge of what’s current fades. Weird Al’s songwriting process, almost without exception, is to confront that anxiety…

View On WordPress

"The Jewish New Year is an example of viewing reality with our eyes shut, of seeing things more deeply, more carefully"

Mircea Eliade, a specialist in world religions, wrote in his book “The Sacred and The Profane” about the pagan view of New Year. For them, human life is a series of recurring cycles, always on the verge of chaos. On New Year, people descend into this primordial chaos: drunkenness, debauchery, chaotic noise.

The Jewish view is radically different. For Jews, reality isn’t a hopeless cycle of…

View On WordPress

"The old hierarchy of high and low has become a sham: pop is the ruling party"

"The old hierarchy of high and low has become a sham: pop is the ruling party" -@AlexRossMusic

The pop hegemony is all but complete, its superstars dominating the media and wielding the economic might of tycoons. They live full time in the unreal realm of the mega-rich, yet they hide behind a folksy façade, wolfing down pizza at the Oscars and cheering sports teams from V.I.P. boxes. Meanwhile, traditional bourgeois genres are kicked to the margins, their demographics undesirable, their…

View On WordPress

"The American political system is nearly unique in the world"

“The American political system is nearly unique in the world”

The American political system is nearly unique in the world. While most democracies use some version of a parliamentary system that vests most power in a representative body chosen in a national election, with the majority party or parties selecting the prime minister, the American system sets up a blisteringly exciting presidential election that allocates only part of the power to the winner.…

View On WordPress

Azerbaijan treats its Jews well: “the positive example it could be for other Muslim nations”

Azerbaijan treats its Jews well: “the positive example it could be for other Muslim nations” -@DiamondM18 of @AJCLA

…we learned a great deal about how and why Azerbaijan invests in and supports its Jewish community and Jewish heritage. The republic is home to one of the largest all-Jewish towns outside Israel, the centuries-old Red Village of Azerbaijan, whose Mountain Jews meet and pray in several stately synagogues.  Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku features a state-of-the-art Jewish day school with more…

View On WordPress

"…in the United States, Modern Orthodoxy has become largely an upper middle class phenomenon"

The sort of anomalies I have mentioned appear to be confined to matters of religious life, and other areas seem more believable. For example, we are told that 37% of Modern Orthodox households have incomes in excess of $150,000, which places them in the top ten percent of Americans. This strikes me as on the mark and illustrates one of the great problems with Modern Orthodoxy in the United…

View On WordPress

"The short video synonymous with GoPro is a kind of post-literate diary…"

"The short video synonymous with GoPro is a kind of post-literate diary…" -@NickPaumgarten

The short video synonymous with GoPro is a kind of post-literate diary, a stop on the way to a future in which everything will be filmed from every point of view. Humans have always recorded their experiences, in an array of media and for a variety of reasons. Not until very recently, with the advent of digital photography and video, and unlimited storage and distribution capacity, has it been…

View On WordPress