Author: Avi Shafran


Caleb’s Gift

A Philadelphia law enforcement official soberly informed television viewers how the “devices” worn by Mr. Leibowitz were called “olfactories.”


The Myth of Mundanity

An abrupt shift takes place in all the world’s synagogues around this time of year. Over the previous 17 weeks, since the public reading of the Torah was begun anew after the holiday of...


Take Two!

Our smiles are not for us but for others. My wife had apparently intuited that, and took advantage of the rare gem of a second take.


A Personal Note to Cross-Currents Readers

I had been planning to write a follow-up message about my posting “The Earth Trembles” even before Illana B.’s comment (# 20) appeared. But her request – taking me back to my family’s wonderful...


The Earth Trembles

To any early 20th century Polish Jew, Japan could as well have been Neptune. The distance between the shtetl and the Far East was measurable not merely in physical miles but in cultural and...


The Problem

Objective observers of the Middle East, though, should think long and hard about what happened in the wake of the mosque burning, and in the wake of Rabbi Chai’s murder.


The Wall is Wailing

The Kotel is a holy place, and should not be made a battlefield by advocates for social or religious change.


Defining Death Down

The shortage of organs for transplantation – is pushing some physicians to call a life a life, even if it hasn’t yet been fully lived.


Stairway To Peoplehood

It is thus much more than a comparison; it is an identification. Jacob is the Jewish people; and that is why he is deathless.


Selective History

Neither Christianity nor Islam, after all, even existed when the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem functioned for centuries as the focal point of the Jewish people.

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