Parshas Bamidbar – Desert and Direction

The sefer of Bamidbar (or, to be pedantic, B’midar) begins with the word Vayidaber; and the Talmud Yerushalmi, I’ve seen it cited, even calls the sefer by that latter word. Both words, as it...

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From Yom Yerushalayim to Meron

As a woman in a shiur I gave on Shabbos put it, Yom Yerushalayim, sadly, has become the exclusive province of the Dati Leumi community here in Israel. Secular Jews have lost interest; charedim...

Two Paths to the Happy End of History

Between the lines of the terrible description in parshas Bechukosai of what will happen if Klal Yisrael abandons the mitzvos of Hashem lie subtle hints to the limits and end of those curses.  The...

Hasidim, yeshivas and truth

Hasidim, yeshivas and the truth By AVI SHAFRAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |- Opinion MAY 02, 2021 AT 5:00 AM There’s been a full-court press of late against Hasidic education in New York by...

Parshas Emor – Embracing Our Worlds

A strange and strangely familiar phrase is found in Rashi, commenting on the Torah’s introduction of the account of the mekalel, the blasphemer, with “And he went out” (Vayikra, 24:10) Rashi, quoting Rabi Levi...

Two Jews Walk into a Palm Springs Shul

A piece I wrote about my late father-in-law’s friendship with the celebrated novelist Herman Wouk — whose second yahrtzeit was last Shabbos — appeared in Forward last week.  It can be read here.

Parshas Tazria – Pity the Habitual Accuser

It’s bad enough that the person whose divisive sins caused him to contract tzora’as (a physical condition conferring tum’ah and sometimes mistakenly identified with leprosy) has to sit apart from society, but he is...

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