Author: Avi Shafran

Agudah Convention Session on a Difficult Topic

The closing session of Agudath Israel of America’s recent 93rd national convention was dedicated to the subject of young people who have chosen to leave the Jewish observance in which they were raised. Three...

Black Power

Australian political advisor Robert Hoge was born with a severe facial deformity and describes himself as “the ugliest person you’ve never met.” When he was born, his parents burst into tears. Mr. Hoge did...

What We Build and What We Are

As the 93rd takes place, the 78th comes to mind. Agudath Israel of America’s national conventions, that is. The 93rd gathering is featuring a constellation of topics and speakers, include the presence of Gedolim,...

Misguided Mounters

“As if the situation here was not sensitive enough,” groused an incredulous MK Yoel Hasson (Hamachaneh HaTzioni). He was referring to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s comment that her “dream is to see...

Spaghetti and Jewish Unity

Last week afforded me an opportunity to sit with a group of Jews spanning the gamut of American Jewry – resolute secularists, members of non-Orthodox congregations and Orthodox Jews – to discuss Jewish unity...

Barack is Leaving the Building

Although Barack Obama’s last day in office won’t come until January 20, 2017, the spectacle of the various presidential debates reminds us all that we won’t have him to kick around too much longer....

Abetting Evil on the Temple Mount

An article of mine about the limits of empathy, the historical revisionism of The New York Times and the endangering of Jewish lives by activists intent on establishing a Jewish presence on the Temple...

Buried Treasure in Tokyo

At a news conference last week, Satoshi Omura, a Japanese researcher and one of three scientists who had just won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, made a comment that was not only...

Where “Objective” is Defective

I’m not among those who grow apoplectic at the New York Times’ reportage from Israel. There are, to be sure, occasions when, in misguided attempts to achieve what passes these days for “evenhandedness,” the...

Two-Way Traffic on the Haredi Highway

Have you ever wondered why, in light of the slew of “I survived Orthodoxy but saw the secular light!” essays and books, there no counter-flood of similar writing by some of the many who...

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