Comments and Tips

If you have a news item or article you think we should know or write about, or simply wish to reach us privately, please email talkback@cross-currents.com.

We welcome your comments via the form at the bottom of each article. We read every comment submitted, but only publish selected ones.

  • Comments must be civil and collegial, in both tone and choice of words. Shrill language, attack words, excessive negativity and cynicism can be taken to other blogs. The harshest, most trenchant criticism can still be phrased in a more gentlemanly fashion. Address the audience rather than the target of your criticism. Close your eyes and imagine that you are in the Oxford Debating Society of a century ago. Ask questions, rather than pontificate.
  • Comments should preferably be submitted to be published with your real name.
  • Comments must be directly relevant to the content of the post itself. Moderators and authors reserve the right to refuse comments on tangential issues.
  • Comments should contain some new information, criticism, contrast, etc. Comments that simply express agreement or disagreement and do not add to the discussion will not be published.
  • Opinions that take aim at what are regarded as among the essential principles of Torah faith will not be published.
  • Opinions that take aim at people generally acknowledged to be Gedolei Torah will not be published.
  • Opinions that include what the editors believe to be halachic errors that might mislead readers will not be published.
  • We will generally not publish comments that serve to direct readers to other websites, and will only permit links to blogs of named individuals known to the editors. This will hold regardless of the quality of the linked website. We do not want to have to differentiate between the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The moderation of comments is not intended to stifle debate, but to keep it constructive. Comments entirely critical of positions taken by our contributors and of the Orthodox center to right-of-center ideologies we represent will be published. We believe in a way of life that can survive scrutiny and critique. It will be our job to respond.

To participate in a constructive debate, we recommend using your full name. You are more likely to measure your words and modulate your tenor when you know friends, family and future employers may read your comment.

Orthodox posters, in particular, are also reminded that familiarity with cultural references and Hebrew terms are not pre-requisites for reading Cross-Currents. Write in English if you want your comment published.

Oh — and we do expect a valid email address to accompany your submission.

Please remember that we are all over-worked volunteers who have multiple careers and occasionally try to lead normal lives as well, such as saying hello to our families and gemaros. Regrettably, we do not have the time to inform submitters when their letters will not be posted, nor to offer reasons for the rejection. Please read again the policies listed above. We do value the time you take to read Cross-Currents. Be assured that one or more editors do evaluate each submission.

If you notice inconsistencies in the way these policies are implemented, that is because a) there are multiple editors who independently say yea or nay to comments as they come in, b) some sleep-deprived editor ran out of coffee, or c) someone made a mistake. It happens. We apologize.