Rabbi Shafran Responds to Criticism, Apologizes


shafran1Dear Editor,

My recent Am Echad Resources essay “Bernie, Sully and Me” (posted here) has generated substantial criticism from many readers, including people whose opinions I deeply respect. I have come to the conclusion that there were errors in both the content and tone of the essay, for which I apologize.

My main goal in publishing these essays is to help people understand eternal Jewish truths. Unfortunately, here I chose unsuitable examples for the concepts I sought to impart, failing to accomplish that goal and offending many people in the process.

I am grateful, as always, for the constructive comments and feedback I received from my readership, whose confidence I hope to retain going forward.

Chag kasher visame’ach,

Rabbi Avi Shafran
Director of Public Affairs
Agudath Israel of America

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  1. With admiration for Rabbi Shafran who can reflect and see how an article can be damaging. Thank you for teaching us the rules of menschliket.

  2. I agree with you Volozhin. My previous respect for Rabbi Shafran is now even greater notwithstanding my earlier post criticising him. Kol Hakovod

  3. So does he now despise Bernie with a passion and consider Sully a hero , or did he just apologize to get off the hook ? I think he should rewrite the essay using more appropiate examples if he wanted to get a point accross.

  4. These days, it’s hard to find people to admire. It’s a rough world, and people like Rabbi Shafran are a lighthouse in the dark.

    Rabbi Shafran, you are a real mentch. So many critics are shrill and trigger happy, and yet, despite the rarity of those who know how to truly criticize, a mentch of your caliber, who is Modeh on the Emet, is prized even more.

  5. Rabbi…
    Too little, – too late.
    It seems that the Rabbi was forced to issue this apology, perhaps for fear that the Agudah might lose even the little respect it still has in the wider Jewish community.

  6. Actually, I’m a little disappointed. Rabbi Shafran is a thinker, and I’m sure he puts thought into his articles before making them public. I would have preferred if he would have just apologized for offending people, but not said that he erred. For what it’s worth, putting aside Madoff’s heinous crime, I don’t see how anyone can’t (even if grudgingly) admit that he had a great deal of courage to be willing to own up to what he did and go to jail for probably the rest of his life, instead of taking hundreds of millions of dollars and running of to somewhere that he woudn’t be caught.

  7. My recent Am Echad Resources essay “Bernie, Sully and Me” (posted here) has generated substantial criticism from many readers, “including people whose opinions I deeply respect”.

    What does that mean? The rest of us are worthless pieces of meat!?
    Very disingenuous apology!

  8. Please take this the right way: I really think you have an anger management problem, and you might be helped by professionals in this area.

    R’ Shafran is just a cog in the wheel of what seems to be your wider anger and self esteem issue…please take care of it, for yourself most of all.

  9. is this one of those instances where the article was written with the knowledge that the writer would need to apologize but nevertheless decided that they should first write then apologize? one thing it definitely does is garner attention

  10. I agreed with you the first time, and think it’s big of you to apologize for offending some. I hope you’re not retracting your original points, because it’s a little bit of a relief to know that there are still some people who have the courage to state things as they are. Sully was a good pilot, and did good things in his job, then and now. We are all extremely thankful to him for the wonderful job he did in a time of danger. But a “hero”? America has lost the concept of hero. A shame.