Author: Avi Shafran

8

Odds and Ends

Alighting from the Staten Island ferry at Manhattan’s southern tip on my way to work February 5, I was greeted by a phalanx of stern-looking police, padded with Kevlar and armed with assault rifles....

17

Tackling The Elephant

Mere days before I was privileged to participate in a Washington, D.C. symposium on religious freedom in Israel, the Malaysian government threatened to withhold a Catholic newspaper’s publishing permit, to punish it for having...

2

Returns Welcome

Married mere days, David found himself seated at the head of a table with his new wife, in-laws and a host of strangers, including some rabbis with long beards. He wasn’t nervous around rabbis;...

27

Dear Sean

Dear Sean, I know this might sound strange coming from a father who’s far from a religious Jew, but now that you’re dating, there’s something I need you to understand. The single most important...

6

Talk to the Snakes

In a 1938 essay, Mohandas (“Mahatma”) Gandhi, the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement, counseled Jews in Nazi Germany to neither flee nor resist but rather offer themselves up to be...

Lions in Winter

Winter might conjure pleasant memories of playing in the snow, but it is hardly a season most of us would consider symbolic of childhood. We more naturally associate the “winter of life” with a...

3

Too Much Information

Winter, when my commute home from Manhattan on the Staten Island ferry is shrouded in darkness, provides me a singular opportunity. That’s because the thousands of other commuters sailing along with me are more...

46

Blogistan

There was a time, not terribly long ago, when disturbed individuals bent on broadcasting angry fantasies had only soapboxes in public parks from which to rant. And respectable people knew, if only from the...

1

Modern Marriage

Ever since the Sabbath after Sukkot, when the communal synagogue reading of the Torah began anew, I haven’t been able to attend a Jewish wedding without thinking about the Netziv’s unsettling, if simple, observation....

12

Holy Places, Holy Lives

Two recent letters to the New York Jewish Week criticized opposition by Orthodox groups in America to the possible partitioning of Jerusalem. One called the Orthodox Union’s stance on the issue “a cynical effort...

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