Author: Avi Shafran

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...

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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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Seething and Thinking

The Old Gray Lady isn’t cute when she’s angry. Quite the opposite, in fact. The New York Times editorial page’s longstanding antagonism to the Bush Administration is well documented. Still, the only dignified editorial...

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The Nature of Nature

It is a strange and disorienting panorama that Rabbi E. E. Dessler, the celebrated Jewish thinker (1892-1953) asks us to ponder: a world where the dead routinely rise from their graves but no grain...

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Sin and Subtext

“New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women” read the subheader of a New York Jewish Week article on October 26. The study found nothing of the sort....

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No. We’re sorry. Not Jerusalem.

This morning I counted. There were at least ten times the Hebrew name of Jerusalem, or its synonym Zion, passed my lips. Before breakfast. There was “Jerusalem, praise G-d,” “May You shine a new...

42

A Lesson From Smokey

On their surface, the e-mails had nothing to do with the uncontrolled wildfires then devastating southern California. Yet the confluence of the messages and the maelstrom held a truth worth contemplating. The topic of...

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