A Ray of Light in a Lion’s Den

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5 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    Perhaps R’Shafran might consider inviting some of the more well behaved panelists to a similar panel at the next Agudah convention?

  2. L. Oberstein says:

    It is so important to present Agudah’s ideas in a way that shows we have brains and are not all raving fanatics. Americans appreciate it when you give them the courtsy of explaining your position in a rational manner. Even if they don’t agree with you, they need to see that your position is sensible.
    The problem is that there is this slippery slope that the Agudah pioneered as far as fighting, that sitting on a panel legitimises the other members of the panel. That position makes any dialogue or debate very difficult since other streams want you to debate their rabbis and we are not allowed to.They take this as an insult and Americans don’t like it when you don’t respect their diversity.
    All of this is as far as religious pluralism is concerned. In current domestic politics, civlity seems to be a lost value, at least on the side I don’t agree with.

  3. David says:

    I join in saluting Rabbi Shafran’s courage, and his presenting a reasoned, rational, sensible, fair and honest defense of the Torah world, dispelling common misconceptions and media distortions. Yirbu kamocha be’Yisrael.

    The problem is, though, that there aren’t “harbei kamocha be’Yisrael.” In Israel especially, the “spokesmen” for the charedi world speak in very offensive, blunt and incendiary language, which contributes to the venom spewed back against us. The charedi world must produce polished, intelligent and well-read figures like Rabbi Shafran who can speak a language that the secular/liberal Jewish world will both understand and respect. I believe this must be made one of the highest priorities.

    On a technical note, aren’t you not supposed to make a beracha if you’re drinking water only to clear your throat, and not to quench your thirst?

  4. rce says:

    This is the exact quote from Rabbi Shafran’s article:
    “I was in fact a little thirsty and so, before drinking, pronounced the traditional blessing…”

  5. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    R. Avi, you are a mensch. That’s what we need more of, the ability to be cool in the face of heat, warm in the face of indifference, and focused in the face of chaos. In short, the difference between a chacham and a golem (see Pirke Avot). I, who could never do it, salute you.

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