Author: Avi Shafran

A column  I wrote for NBC-Think about the Equality Act, a piece of legislation that could have dire consequences for religious institutions, can be read here.  

Of Idols and Ideals – parshas Ki Sisa

Describing our ancestors’ worshipping of the egel hazahav, the golden calf, the Torah relates that “Early next day, the people offered up olos [burnt offerings] and shelamim [peace sacrifices], they sat down to eat...

Parshas Tetzaveh – Redolence and Relationship

After the Torah prescribes the details of the various vessels attendant to the mishkan (tabernacle), of the construction of the mishkan itself, of the mizbeach (altar), of the daily lighting of the menorah, of the...

Defining Debauchery Down

One would have been forgiven for assuming it an elaborate Purim joke.  In fact, assuming otherwise would have strained credulity. But credible, unfortunately, it is. “It” — a new glossy magazine I prefer not...

Lazer in Space

It takes an impressive degree of repugnancy for a Republican lawmaker to evoke condemnation from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Enter newly elected Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She earned that dishonor by...

Parshas Yisro – The Barrel’s Secret

Our ancestors’ acceptance of the Torah was imperfect: It included an element of coercion. The Gemara (Shabbos 88a) teaches that “Hashem held the mountain over the Jews’ heads like a gigis (a barrel).” The...

Parshas Beshalach — Arms Race

The fundamental struggle of humanity, stripped of all of history’s dross, is between two views: The recognition of a Creator (and the resultant meaningfulness of human life) and the belief that life is the...

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