Author: Avi Shafran

Different Hopes For Different Folks

“Number one…” presidential hopeful Joe Biden Jr. said at his March 15 debate with equally hopeful (though less entitled to be so) Senator Bernie Sanders, “if I’m elected president and have an opportunity to...

Responding to Wrath With Calm

It’s strange but true: We sometimes fail to acknowledge the most important thing in the universe. That would be bechirah, Hashem’s astonishing gift of free will to mankind. We humans are able to choose...

Two Thoughts about You-Know-What

Surprisingly (he said with sarcasm), I’ve been giving some thought to the current pandemic. Specifically, to the unprecedented closures of shuls and yeshivos.  In the absence of a prophet, no one can claim to...

Plagues Past and Present

It’s been some 700 years since the bubonic plague ravaged central Asia, killing millions of people. A decade or two later, in October, 1347, a ship from the Crimea docked in Messina, Sicily. Rats...

My Purim’s Highlight

My Purim’s highlight this year was an interaction I had with two little boys, no older than 8 or 9.  The shul I attend is often visited by a number of “collectors” asking for...

Masquerading as Feminism

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t have a column in Hamodia this week, but thought I’d post a Purim-themed thought I wrote several years ago.  A joyous and meaningful Purim to all!...

Stop and Think

Politicians would serve themselves well to always keep in mind Rabi Yehudah Hanasi’s admonition: “An eye sees, an ear hears, and all your deeds are written in a book” (Avos 2:1). Most public servants...

Pathologized Problems

It seems that a good part of my youth was spent in a mental asylum without walls. At least that’s how some mental health professionals might characterize it. Among the boys in my neighborhood...

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