After the Oscars slap fiasco, Rabbi Joshua Corber wants you to know he has alopecia, too

Rabbi Joshua Corber revealed he has alopecia after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards for making a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from the same condition. (Ellin Bessner photo)

Last week, after a fiasco at the Academy Awards resulted in Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock with a slap heard around the world, Rabbi Joshua Corber prepared a special sermon for his congregation at Beit Rayim in Toronto. He revealed that he, like Jada Pinkett Smith and 147 million more people around the world, suffers from alopecia—the autoimmune disorder that causes missing patches of hair and often results in baldness.

Rabbi Corber ended up posting the text of his sermon to his Facebook page, where more than a hundred people have commented and reacted to his honesty. He says he didn’t go public with this news for attention or sympathy, but rather to use it as a teaching moment, to discourage body shaming and direct Jews to passages in the Torah that deal with lashon hara, or malicious speech.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily podcast, Rabbi Corber joins host Ellin Bessner to unpack these thoughts, discuss his own experiences with alopecia and share his personal reaction to the infamous Oscars slap.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.