Author: Avi Shafran

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...

An Antisemite’s Perceptive, Worthy Words

Most people, if they are familiar with the name at all, associate “Chateaubriand” with a meat dish.  But François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a famous French author who died in 1848.  He was not...

Sliwa’s Slurs… and some other stuff

You might find of interest Agudath Israel of America’s response to a deeply offensive and misleading speech delivered in 2018 by then-talk show host and current Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa. Video of the...

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