Author: Avi Shafran

Obama Comes Clean

Back in 2009, I was troubled by the reaction of many of my friends to President Obama’s speech in Cairo to the Muslim world. I had shared the same concerns they had about Mr....

Monkeys, Marriage and Morality

Amid the ongoing avalanche of political conversions, punditry and testimonials on behalf of redefining marriage was a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times by a professor of biology, David George Haskell. The...

Announcement

Response to my proposed weekly by-subscription PDF offering, “An Observant Eye,” was sufficiently strong to justify my undertaking the project, and I’m happy to announce that the first issue will be e-mailed to subscribers,...

Deconstructing Dayeinu

Much of our Seder-night message to our children, mediated by the Haggadah, is forthright and clear. Some of it, though, is subtle and stealthy. Like Dayeinu. On the surface, it is a simple song...

A Note of Clarification

I have been asked how my recent establishment of a personal website comports with my often-voiced disdain for blogs that exist only to derogate others, spread loshon horah and rechilus, attack the Jewish mesorah...

A Good Eye

One thing I was not prepared to find when I scanned the op-ed page of The New York Times this past Friday was reference to the perennial dilemma of what bracha, or blessing, to...

Dos Yiddishe Mensch

If you’ve noticed a little less dignity, geniality and nobility in the world of late, it may be because we no longer have Reb Yosef Friedenson here with us. Reb Yosef’s humble bearing, good...

Lies, Statistics and News Reports

It’s rare for light to be cast on the origins of a rumor. But a recent revelation about a charge made against Chuck Hagel before his confirmation as Secretary of Defense does that –...

Any interest?

I’m gauging interest in a weekly e-mail offering of 3-6 pages aiming to provide an overview of several of the prior week’s Jewish-related news stories – with a stress on providing some context and,...

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