Author: Avi Shafran

Parshas Vayeira – The Will IS the Way

Inordinate attention is afforded the menu that Avraham Avinu offered the angels disguised as nomads whom he welcomed to his home: Water, fine-flour bread, cream and milk; and, according to the Gemara, the tongues...

Lech Lecha – The Meaning of Magein

“I am a shield for you,” is the common translation of what Hashem told Avram after the war of the kings (Beraishis 15:1). And Rashi, referencing the Midrash (Midrash Rabbah, 44:4), explains that the...

Parshas Noach – Our (Temporarily) Un-Whole World

The word “toldos” introducing the “account” of Noach is spelled in a subtly different way than its first appearance in parshas Beraishis, where “eleh toldos hashamayim vi’ha’aretz” (Beraishis 2:4) concludes the account of the...

AOC’s Unconcern With Jewish Lives

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offered an apology last Friday, but it was the wrong one. She had decided at the last minute to vote “present” instead of “no” on a resolution to provide  $1 billion...

V’zos Habracha – Spacewarps

A Roman emperor, according to a Midrashic account (Sifri, Devarim 357), sent two army units to find Moshe Rabbeinu’s burial site. When they stood above it on a hill, they saw it below. When...

Haazinu – Not Bad But Best

A man once visited the saintly Chafetz Chaim and the sage asked him how things were going for him. The visitor responded, “Well, it wouldn’t hurt if they were a bit better.” “How can...

Driving Like It’s Rosh Hashanah

Some Jews attend shul only on the Yamim Nora’aim or for a yahrtzeit. They “compartmentalize” their Judaism. It’s called on only for special occasions. And yet, as always, there’s more to be gained by...

Two Articles

A piece I wrote for Religion News Service about Orthodox efforts to help beleaguered people around the world was picked up by the Washington Post, and can be read here or here. And my...

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