Author: Avi Shafran

Undeserving (Parshas Vayeitzei)

Some people’s default attitude in life is “I really deserve more than I have”; others are prone to feeling that “I really don’t deserve what I have.” Most people fall somewhere on the spectrum...

“If Only…”

It’s human nature, when faced with something tragic, or even just disturbing, to say to oneself, “If only…” “If only I had done this… or we had done that… or not done this… or...

When Innocence Really Isn’t

Remarkably, in response to Avimelech’s protest over being punished for taking Sarah, Hashem confirms the king’s insistence that he had acted innocently, believing that Avraham and Sarah, as they had claimed, were brother and...

No, Thank You

When, as they approach Egypt, Avram asks Sarai to pretend she is his sister, he explains “so that it will be good for me and I will remain alive because of you.” (Beraishis, 12:13)...

Malicious Misrepresentation

I have no beef with anyone who wishes to take issue with anything I’ve written.  But I do object to the publication of something that blatantly and irresponsibly misrepresents what I have written.  Like...

Plumbing the Meaning of the Torah’s First Word

The Torah’s first verse is purposely unclear.  As the Ramban, Nachmanides, points out, the deepest truths of how the universe was created are unfathomable and inscrutable, hidden, ultimately, in the realm of mysticism, not...

The Devarim-Beraishis Bridge Idea

The Chasam Sofer notes that the Torah’s last word, “Yisrael” and its first one, “Braishis,” share the letters aleph, shin, resh and yud… spelling ashrei. Ashrei can be translated as “praiseworthy” or “fortunate.”  That...

The Threesome Chain

Over the past few weeks, I have been sending out short thoughts on the upcoming parsha to my list of subscribers, who receive links to my Ami Magazine column and other things that might...

A Note from Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel

A Note About an Unfortunate Article August 28, 2020 By: Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel A number of people have called my attention to an anti-Agudath Israel screed that was recently published as an op-ed...

My Final Post on the “Open Letter”

And so the pilpul chaverim — and chaverim we are and will always be — goes on! But this will, bl”n, be my final posting about the much discussed (b”H) open letter about Torah...

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