Author: Avi Shafran

Handling Success With Care

Back in 1941 (no, I don’t remember it personally, but it’s documented), there was an American Jewish establishment group called the “Joint Boycott Council.” It objected vehemently to Agudath Israel of America’s policy of...

A Troubling America for Jews…

American Jews might be excused for finding the circus more formally known as the current presidential campaign unthreatening, even amusing. Unthreatening, because the leading Republican candidate has a Jewish daughter; the leading Democratic candidate,...

Voting Advice

Few things outrage people as greatly as the suggestion that their vote doesn’t really make a difference. “Your vote counts!” is, after all, the essence of Civics 101. And yet it is the most...

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Is it permissible to drink water on Shabbos? Yes, the question is facetious. But not pointless. Because the parshiyos of this time of year, which deal with the construction of the mishkan and its...

Bernie’s Kibbutz and Mine

The disclosure of which kibbutz Senator Bernie Sanders spent time at in1963 was red meat for the voracious purveyors of what, regrettably, passes for political commentary these days. Mr. Sanders – now the first...

The American Jewish Buffet

“Secular Orthodox.” That’s how Avinoam Bar-Yosef, president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, recently characterized many Israelis. What he meant was that, while an Israeli may not be observant of halachah, or even...

The Professor Stumbles

You just can’t, as they say, make this stuff up. A performer recently made news by implying that 1) Holocaust denier David Irving deserves reconsideration, and 2) that the earth is flat. The entertainer...

Western Walls

Many are celebrating the official setting aside and expansion of a part of the Kotel Maaravi for non-traditional public prayer. I’m not among them. My thoughts on the matter are in the Forward today....

Iranian Elephant

“Whatsa matter, you don’t like the other one?” That was what an old-time comedian claimed his mother-in-law said when she saw him wearing one of the two neckties she gave him on his birthday....

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