Author: Avi Shafran

Hearing the Hurricane

With the storm they call Sandy three weeks gone (though not its repercussions, unfortunately), the rear-view mirror perspective allows us to reflect anew on a Jewish truth: that “natural” disasters are meant to make...

Shameless plug

Please forgive the “commercial” nature of this posting, but I just wanted to share with Cross-Currents readers that a collection of some of my essays from the past ten years or so has just...

The Evil Eleventh

Is child abuse “more common in the Orthodox Jewish community than it is elsewhere? There are no reliable statistics … but there’s reason to believe the answer to that question might be yes.” Those...

Autonomy Über Alles

As with a number of evil ideas, physician assisted suicide can be defended without great difficulty. The magic word for making the case is “autonomy”—the right of individuals to make choices about their future...

Misguided Markings

In slow but clear Hebrew and with an endearingly wry smile, the elderly Jewish lady recalls a trip to America one summer with her sister. At a bank, she recounts, the teller, a young...

We Didn’t Build That

The current extended silly season called a presidential campaign has certainly provided its share of absurdities. Wouldn’t it be nice if all there was to consider were objective facts about the candidates and carefully...

Mrs. Aardvark Comes Home

A time-travelling housefly, transported back to the mid-1980s and spending a Sunday afternoon lazing high on the wall of an ornate living room in a stately home on the fashionable East Side of Providence,...

Hiddur is in the Eye of the Beholder

Olivewood is beautiful. It reminds me of Eretz Yisrael and little carved camels; it has a delicate, calming hue. And silver, well, it is pure and shiny and smooth, and brings sefer Torah ornaments...

Bad Week for the DNC

The Democratic National Committee, at least from the perspective of Israel supporters, had an exceedingly bad week when it convened. Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was caught in an unpleasant untruth when she claimed...

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