Author: Avi Shafran

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Letter in the New York Times

The Opinion Pages | LETTER Single-Sex Swimming Pool JUNE 6, 2016 To the Editor: Re “Everybody Into the Pool” (editorial, June 1): Far from being “unmoored” from the Constitution, offering...

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Revisiting the Iran Deal

I’ve been asked in recent days whether my feelings about last year’s Iran nuclear deal have changed. What prompted the inquiries was the lengthy New York Times Magazine profile of...

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No Regrets

My employer, Agudath Israel of America, as a non-profit organization, is not permitted to endorse any candidate for public office. I, however, write this column each week as an individual,...

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Visitation Rites

The saintly aura that has enveloped Ronald Reagan in the minds of many who consider themselves social conservatives and independent thinkers – and I count myself among them; and I...

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Ferry Tale

Sitting among other commuters in the cavernous terminal, waiting for the next ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan, I sensed some commotion in my periphery. Looking up from my reading,...

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Hubris Heights

Three years ago, geneticists Drs. Stephen Friend, Eric Schadt and Jason Bobe set out to search international databases for people who were over 30 and healthy but who carried mutations...

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Liberation Theology

In the summer of 1776, Benjamin Franklin proposed that the Great Seal of the United States should depict Moshe Rabbeinu at the Yam Suf, his staff lifted high and the...

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Routing Rote

“Please don’t bring your toys into my kitchen, young lady!” the busy mother warned her loaded-up little daughter. The child’s response: “Well, it’s MY kitchen too!” Her parents had a...

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And the Winner Is…

“Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser,” the famous, and famously blunt, General George S. Patton declared in a 1944 speech. “When you were kids,” he explained,...

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Hear Me Out

You probably know that when a person loses some hearing, it can never be recovered. But did you know that 10 million Americans suffer noise-induced hearing loss? Or that exposure...

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The Evidence in the Barrel

Back in a previous lifetime, when I was a mesivta rebbe, I once heard a menahel exhort our talmidim to not get carried away on Purim. As an illustration, he...

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Golden Silence

The mother was understandably concerned. Her first-grader was a sociable, talkative little girl, and so her teacher’s phone call was certainly disturbing. This is a true story and took place...

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Handling Success With Care

Back in 1941 (no, I don’t remember it personally, but it’s documented), there was an American Jewish establishment group called the “Joint Boycott Council.” It objected vehemently to Agudath Israel...

A Troubling America for Jews…

American Jews might be excused for finding the circus more formally known as the current presidential campaign unthreatening, even amusing. Unthreatening, because the leading Republican candidate has a Jewish daughter;...

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Voting Advice

Few things outrage people as greatly as the suggestion that their vote doesn’t really make a difference. “Your vote counts!” is, after all, the essence of Civics 101. And yet...