Author: Avi Shafran

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The Enemy

In December, 2014, after a driver shouting Islamic slogans mowed down more than a dozen pedestrians in Dijon, France, the city’s chief prosecutor called the attacks the work of an unbalanced man whose motivations...

Crooked Hillary

Trump and the Jewish Question

“The anti-Semitism that is threaded throughout the Republican Party of late goes straight to the feet of Donald Trump.” That, according to Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, erstwhile chair of the Democratic National Committee....

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Abortion Distortion

With the Democratic and Republican platforms offering more polarized planks on abortion than ever, the issue of “reproductive rights” is, once again, well, birthed into the glare. Also in the limelight of late are...

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Shock Treatment

It’s a truth not universally acknowledged that good can come from bad. As Iyov said, “Who can bring purity from impurity, not the One?” (14:4; see Targum Yonasan). An untruth almost universally asserted is...

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Subway Poles/Snakes on Poles

Subway riders in standing room-only cars try not to think too much about what organisms might be happily residing on the poles they grasp during the lurching trip. To obtain some hard data, Harvard...

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When Vulnerability Means Strength

So, where exactly was the lie? The one, that is, to which the meraglim had to add some truth, in order for it to be swallowed. In this past Shabbos’ parashah, the spies, returning...

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Torah Vs. Egalitarianism

The “Kosel Controversy” – whether “nontraditional” prayer services should be accommodated at the Kosel Maaravi – blazes on, fanned by the winds of politics, courts and “activists.” Respect for the Jewish mesorah at the...

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Taking Aim at Massacres

What does the word “magazine” bring to mind? A glossy periodical or, perhaps, a news program? To many Americans, the word would more readily conjure a metal receptacle holding up to 30 or more...

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Letter in the New York Jewish Week, June 24, 2016

Editor: Gary Rosenblatt asserts that, as per the headline over his recent June 17 essay, “Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected Today” by the Israeli rabbinate. The Jewish religious tradition, however, sees precisely in the...

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The Power of a Place

Somewhere on earth there may be a more fractious, violent, convulsed and combative place than the Iraqi city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad. But it’s not likely. Currently, Fallujah is in the news because...

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When “Right” is Wrong

There is a social media page titled “Justice for Harambe,” Harambe being the gorilla that was shot to death in the Cincinnati Zoo after dragging around a 3-year-old boy who had slipped into its...

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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 sex-segregated hours at public...

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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 deputy national-security adviser Ben...

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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, not as an organizational...

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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 voted for Reagan in...

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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, I saw a 40-ish...