Author: Avi Shafran

Parshas Nitzavim – The Role of Failure

Reflecting the time of year when we read Nitzavim, before the “Days of Awe,” the parshah’s major themes are sin and repentance. And while much of Nitzavim concerns potential punishments for sin, there is...

NYDN — Antisemitism on the loose

Anti-Semitism on the loose By AVI SHAFRAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | AUG 26, 2021 A very old, very wry, very pointed Jewish joke: Goldberg is in the waiting area of a European airport holding the...

Parshas Re’ei — What’s With the Wealth?

Affluence isn’t something extolled by the Torah. In Judaism wealth is neither a praiseworthy aspiration nor a meaningful achievement. Which makes Rabbi Yochanan’s homiletic interpretation of the Torah’s words “A tithe shall you tithe...

Parshas Vo’eschanan: Living Martyrdom

The Jewish credo, “the Shema,” declares Moshe’s directive to love Hashem “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources” (Devarim 6:5). And, famously, Chazal understand “all your soul” as...

Parshas Devarim: Timeless

Sefer Devarim begins with Moshe Rabbeinu’s recounting of the Jewish People’s history since the exodus from Egypt, through the years of desert-wandering. And our communal reading of the beginning of the sefer coincides yearly...

Parshas Matos: Being There

At first read, the tribes of Gad, Reuvein and half of Menashe seem to be making an entirely unreasonable request of Moshe: Let us remain on the east side of the Jordan River, where...

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