Author: Avi Shafran

POTUS and the Piñata

“Fire this ignorant teacher for inciting violence against our POTUS,” read one of the many overheated comments to l’affaire piñata (forgive the language cholent). “More indoctrination from the filthy left,” contended another commenter. On...

Open Season on the Orthodox

The description of the scene fairly leapt off the page: Shabbos at the Kosel, people davening, a paraplegic in a motorized wheelchair, a group of Orthodox Jews approaching… “…like a big-league pitcher [one religious...

What Worked for Us (in Shidduchim)

  “Past performance does not guarantee future results.” I don’t own stocks, but am familiar with that disclaimer, required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for ads peddling investment opportunities. It’s cited here...

An Impossible Pretzel

Some people, it seems, like some dogs with teeth planted firmly in mailmen’s legs, just can’t let go. Take Peter Beinart. I have no problem with the columnist and former The New Republic editor’s...

Homicide Prevention

  Observant Jews might be lulled into thinking that the issue of physician-assisted suicide doesn’t affect us personally. After all, while there are certainly cases where treatments may rightfully be declined by patients or,...

Response and Rejoinder

The article I wrote recently for the Forward about haredim in Israel, linked here on Cross-Currents on April 15, was responded to in that medium by an activist in Israel.  Her rejoinder is here. I...

Fear Itself

A navi I’m not, but, still, it was good timing. Several weeks back, at the height of the fears fomented by bomb threats against U.S. Jewish institutions, I wrote an article for an Israeli...

Why CNN’s “Believer” is Unbelievable

Reza Aslan, the host of the modestly named “Believer With Reza Aslan” on CNN, has rendered his verdict: “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews in Israel are to the Jewish State what the mullahs were to Iran in...

The Riddle of the Fours

Four questions. Four sons. Four expressions of geulah. Four cups of wine. Dam (=44) was placed, in Mitzrayim, on the doorway (deles, “door,” being the technical spelling of what we call the letter daled,...

Black Hats Don’t Always Mean Bad Guys

In an enlightening example of how the rush to publish “juicy” stories without doing the requisite research can lead media to propagate falsehoods, a New Jersey radio station, NJ 1015, broke a story recently...

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