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Seeming Contradiction
Wed, 03/10/2010 - 19:00

In the March 5 edition of The Jewish Week, Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, is quoted in two separate articles.
The first instance is in Jonathan Mark’s “The Edge Of Town” column, “Sympathy for the Devil?” Rabbi Shafran is quoted regarding the case of a brutal murderer condemned to death in Florida for his “heinous” crime but who was a “sincere baal teshuvah” who managed to ignite support from certain right-wing Orthodox organizations like the Agudah.

Rabbi Shafran, in actively supporting a commutation of the criminal’s sentence was quoted as saying, “If it was your child facing execution you’d do everything you could to plead for mercy...”

Clearly, Rabbi Shafran is a man of deep compassion and the Agudah an organization of the same to go to such lengths to save the life of a Jewish man who killed a young woman in brutal cold blood.

The second article, “Rabbi Condemned for Ordaining Woman,” reports that the Agudath Israel Council of Torah Sages suggest that Rabbi Avi Weiss should no longer be considered Orthodox because of his “decision” (the quotations marks are mine) to ordain a woman.
In its statement the Agudah said, “These developments ... must be condemned in the strongest terms.”
Rabbi Shafran is quoted directly as saying that Rabbi Weiss is “in violation of the Orthodox value of ‘tzinut,’ or modesty for women.”
Let me get this right — compassion for the killer of a woman and condemnation for advancing a woman?

Riverdale, The Bronx

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