Avi Shafran

Avi Shafran is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Avi Shafran

Painting asylum-seekers as potential threats is an old, cynical game

By Avi Shafran — September 13, 2023
(RNS) — Fears of malefactors entering the U.S. among legitimate asylum-seekers are overblown.

Secular Israelis have workarounds for Sabbath rules. It’s their loss.

By Avi Shafran — August 9, 2023
(RNS) — Even nonreligious visitors to Jerusalem’s religious neighborhoods marvel at Shabbat's calm.

We hoped for a miracle for OceanGate’s Titan crew. We ignore the ones waiting for us every day.

By Avi Shafran — June 30, 2023
(RNS) — The rabbis of the Talmud enjoined us to express boundless gratitude at our waking every day.

Biden White House plan to fight antisemitism has its faults. Let’s welcome what’s good.

By Avi Shafran — June 14, 2023
(RNS) — An unprecedented government effort to combat a pressing problem overcomes its own flaws.

Freedom was granted at Passover. It was defined on Shavuot.

By Avi Shafran — May 24, 2023
(RNS) — The Festival of Weeks shows that true freedom comes in endeavoring to live a 'mission-focused' life.

Passover reminds us why a nation needs to remember its ‘bad old times’

By Avi Shafran — April 3, 2023
(RNS) — The holiday is about recalling uncomfortable truths, an exercise every American can benefit from.

Queen Vashti is not the feminist symbol many want her to be

By Avi Shafran — March 6, 2023
(RNS) — It’s sad to see a carefully preserved Jewish historical tradition sacrificed on the altar of a contemporary ism.

Time to remember more than one atrocity? A defense of Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Avi Shafran — February 1, 2023
(RNS) — There’s a reason we take a special day to remember the Holocaust.

Why Israel’s Orthodox Jewish parties want to narrow the country’s ‘Law of Return’

By Avi Shafran — January 11, 2023
(RNS) — The Orthodox parties see the law as a recipe for increased intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews.

Signs invited Jews to visit the Temple Mount. Why Israel’s chief rabbi forbade them.

By Avi Shafran — December 20, 2022
(RNS) — Jewish nationalists bent on affirming the Jewish connection to the Mount have increasingly visited the site.

Israel’s Haredi parties support Netanyahu again, but their politics aren’t what you think

By Avi Shafran — November 14, 2022
(RNS) — The 'ultra-Orthodox' Shas and United Torah Judaism parties aren't political hardliners, or very political at all.

My evangelical Sukkot saviors

By Avi Shafran — October 9, 2022
(RNS) — Every year as the Jewish holiday comes around, I remember Anthony.

What The New York Times’ story on Hasidic schools misses

By Avi Shafran — September 13, 2022
(RNS) — The vast majority of Hasidic parents and students cherish the education offered by their yeshivas.

Expansions on euthanasia should be sounding alarm bells for us all

By Avi Shafran — July 27, 2022
(RNS) — ‘In our utilitarian and utopian zeal, the right to die today may become the duty to die tomorrow,’ warns Toronto physician Mark D’Souza.

Abortion is not a ‘Jewish value’ for all Jews

By Avi Shafran — July 13, 2022
(RNS) — The media has deposited in the public sphere that all of Judaism embraces ‘abortion rights.’
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