On this page, you can find examples of my writing. I should note that my views on some matters have changed; there are pieces below that advance claims I don’t agree with today, even a few which embarrass me.
To the extent I can, I try to post my academic writing on my Academia page.
Exile in Gal-Ville: How a Male Feminist Alienated His Supporters, TheAtlantic.com, 2/13/12
Controversy enveloped feminist blogger Hugo Schwyzer after he revealed troubling incidents from his past.
Friday Film: Orthodox, More or Less, “The Artsy Semite” blog at Forward.com, 1/13/12
The documentary “Unorthodox” follows Jewish teens in Israeli yeshivot and has an unusual production history.
An archive of my argumentative writing (mostly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and questions surrounding American Jewish life) for The Daily Beast can be found here. A few representative pieces, I think, discuss the Israel-Hamas escalation of November 2012, an example of of “Israel army fiction,” Commentary magazine’s shifting attitudes towards welfare, and Talmudic sources on targeted assassination.
Here’s a piece I wrote about “The Death of Klinghoffer” and the surrounding protests for The New Republic; I also appeared on WNPR to discuss the piece (archived here, starting around twenty-six minutes in).
I wrote about BDS for Haaretz, arguing that the only way for Jews to stop it is to offer another path to end the occupation. And I appeared on TLV1, an Israeli English radio station, to talk about the piece (archived here, starting around fifty-eight minutes in).
Here’s a piece I wrote for Jewschool about whether American Jews should recite hallel on Israeli Independence Day. And here’s one on gender and tefillin.
I’ve written several pieces for Jewish Currents, only one of which is a review, but I’m very proud of it, so I’m linking to those pieces here.
Here’s an archive of articles I’ve written for the Jewish Daily Forward, including a number of reviews. Books I’ve reviewed include David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition, Eliyahu Stern’s The Genius: Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism, Ruth Rosen’s Called to Controversy: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus, and several others. (Also here are some articles about the conflict and “How Liturgy Can Co-Exist With Backstreet Boys and The Wu-Tang Clan.”)
Here’s a review I wrote for First Things of Leigh Eric Schmidt’s Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation, a social history of unbelief in nineteenth century America.
Here’re my reviews for the Los Angeles Review of Books including of Harry Frankfurt’s On Inequality, which argues that inequality is not, in and of itself, a moral problem.
Here’s a review I wrote for Haaretz of Jonathan Mark Gribetz’s Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter, which deals with how Jews and Arabs saw each other in Ottoman-era Palestine.
Gender Through a Jewish Lens, Tablet Magazine, 4/26/12
Joint review of Kate Bornstein’s A Queer and Pleasant Danger and Joy Ladin’s Through the Door of Life.
Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism, The Talmud Blog, August 18, 2013
Meals in Early Judaism: Social Formation at the Table
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September 12, 2015
I occasionally review academic books for MAKE Literary Magazine, including Kimberly Johnson’s Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England, Moulie Vidas’s Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud, Arthur Melzer’s Philosophy Between the Lines: The Lost History of Esoteric Writing, and Daniel Jutte’s The Age of Secrecy.
The Evil Inclination
Jewish Ideas Daily, 12/5/11
Review of Ishay Rosen-Zvi’s Demonic Desires: “Yetzer Hara” and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity.
In college, I reviewed movies for The Yale Herald. Not all those reviews are still online, but my reviews of “The Ghost Writer,” “The White Ribbon,” “The Last Station,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” and “An Education” are all available. (Note in 2021: these links seem to be dead, which is a shame.)
Which Side Are You On?, The Yale Daily News, 11/17/2008
A long, rambling personal essay about my existential crisis as a sophomore.
Lot’s Daughters: The Ethics of Reading In the Present, Second Place, The Elie Wiesel Ethics Prize, 2010
An extended analysis of biblical midrashim surrounding Lot’s Daughters.
Romance and Rational Choice, for the Hypocrite Reader, November 2014
Literary analysis of the alternate forms of mAvot 5:16
Though He Goes Out Weeping, Shibboleth 2010
A short story about Riga, Jewish lineage, and collective memory. This story won a fiction prize at Yale. It is not autobiographical.