Author: Avi Shafran

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...

Enjoy!

Each year, sitting in the sukkah on the first night of Sukkos, with my wife and whoever among our children and grandchildren we are fortunate to have with us for Yom Tov, I feel...

Eliyahu’s Double Plea

The Rambam’s logic, as always, is unassailable. Miracles, he informs us (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 8:1), simply cannot be bases of belief. What appears to us as miraculous, he explains, could always be trickery or...

The King and Us

One of the findings of a recent Pew Research Center report about Orthodox Jews was that for the vast majority of them – are you sitting down? – “religion is very important in their...

Govrov Selichos, 1939

This time of year in 1939, in a Polish town called Ruzhan, a 14-year-old boy had his plans rudely interrupted. The boy, who, fifteen years later, would become my father, had made preparations to...

Opinions Gone Wild

I’m greatly pained by much of the reaction in the Orthodox community to what has come to be called the Iran Deal. To be sure, there are elements of the agreement that are less...

Atticus and the Yomim Nora’im

The American 1960 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” was in the news this summer, the result of the publication of an earlier version of it, a sequel in reality, that its author, Harper Lee,...

Exhibit A: Us

It’s not his name but I’ll call him Yochanan, after R. Yochanan ben Zakkai, who, the Gemara tells us (Berachos 17a), was first to greet anyone, Jew or not, he passed in the street....

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