With all due apologies to JFK’s speechwriter, Avi Shafran writes that Shavuot is not about what we’d like God to do for us. Rather, it’s about what we are privileged to do for Him.
If Avi Shafran were a bakery owner, he would refuse to make a wedding cake for two grooms. He says the Constitution enshrines his right to do so, even if most Americans think otherwise.
Even though it’s often men who lead the Seder in traditional Jewish families, Avi Shafran believes that the Seder itself is maternal in its quality and purpose.
On Purim, we celebrate how a plan to kill Jews ended up with the death of the perpetrator. For Avi Shafran, the holiday demonstrates the beauty of irony.
Ultra-Orthodoxy is often criticized for its treatment of women. But Avi Shafran says it offers women more opportunities to work than men, who must study the Torah.
After reading a mother’s appalling account of the rabbi who ‘turned’ her daughter against her, Avi Shafran explains what Orthodox outreach is really about.
Avi Shafran, a pious Orthodox Jew, remembers his own brush with doubting Judaism — and what it took to get him believing again.
Gil Steinlauf says he has struggled with his sexual identity for 20 years. Avi Shafran says a respected rabbi should keep fighting to live a life consistent with the Torah.
A punk rock musician taught Avi Shafran an unexpected lesson about Tisha B’Av. The rocker was bemused to hear that Jews still mourn the destruction of the temples.
Why do some Orthodox Jews do things that seem so un-Jewish? Avi Shafran has an answer — they go through the motions of ritual without embodying true belief.