Author: Avi Shafran

Vo’eschanan – No Mere Miracle

The centerpiece, if such a word can be used in the context of a parshah, of Vo’eschanan is generally assumed to be the Aseres Hadibros, the Decalogue. But I think that the even more...

A Compelling Contrast

Since my Ami column this week, “A Compelling Contrast,”  has a Tisha B’Av theme, I am offering a link to it today. It can be read here.

Devarim – Starry, Starry Night

It’s rare for city dwellers to truly see the night sky. Only once, many years ago, driving on a moonless night in West Virginia, did I fully perceive the vast number of stars –...

Pinchas – Self Changes Everything

The law of kana’im pog’im bo – “the zealous ones can attack him” – that Pinchas acted upon to dispatch Zimri and Kozbi is a highly unusual, if not singular, one: If one poses...

No Tolerance for Hooliganism

My thoughts on the obnoxious actions of a group of young Orthodox Jews at the Robinson’s Arch area of the Western Wall, and some of the reactions to them, can be read here.

Balak – Life in Three Dimensions

I’m not entirely sure why eyepatches are often associated with dangerous characters like pirates. But the only character in the Torah who is described as having a single eye is Bilaam (Bamidbar 24:3, although,...

Chukas – Vocabulary and Venom

In the only instance of a pun in the Torah (isha from ish doesn’t count), we find Moshe forging the nachash hanechoses, the “snake of copper,” out of that particular material because nechoshes sounds...

Korach – The Nature of Nature

My late friend and once-Staten Island Ferry chavrusa Yossie Hutler, zichrono livrachah, once posed an insightful question about parshas Korach. “[In the] morning,” Moshe tells Korach and his entourage, Hashem will make His will...

Agudath Israel on Reversal of Roe

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Agudath Israel of America welcomes this historic development. Agudath Israel has long...

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