Shafran says he was stunned to realize that he not only identifies with a particular side of a specific issue, but that he could name reasons why he is on that side.
New York - 42 Broadway
Startled upon realizing he had a genuine interest and viewpoint concerning Conservative & Reform Jews, local man Avi Shafran told reporters Tuesday that it seemed as if he had begun, ever so slightly, to stand for something independently.
Shafran, a 60 something-year-old "night" of the Jews For Ultra-Orthodox Jews Only - movement, who until now has lived his life with considerable ambivalence toward other major not-really Jewish social or political issues on his own, said he has been taken aback by the sense of engagement suddenly arising within him.
“I’m starting to think I have a real independent opinion about something,” said Shafran (Not to be confused with my friend Harry Maryles), expressing genuine shock that the point of view had thus far lasted several weeks and showed no signs of deteriorating. “I’ve got thoughts on an issue, and then I have some information to back those thoughts up. It’s weird.”
“I mean, I read a few articles online all the way through, even a couple of really long ones. And I almost left a comment a few times, too,” Shafran added. “It’s kind of crazy, but I think I actually care about the issue.”
Shafran told reporters he was recently amazed to discover that he not only found a cable news roundtable on the subject coherent but also took a side in the discussion, an unprecedented level of intellectual involvement for the man who admitted he “[doesn’t] really follow” most matters outside his day-to-day life.
“I knew what the people on TV were talking about, even the ones I disagreed with,” said Shafran, noting with astonishment that he felt interested in continuing to watch the televised dialogue instead of flipping to something less mentally demanding. “I not only understood a lot of what I was hearing, but sometimes a response would pop into my head automatically without me having to think about it. I even got a little angry at something someone was saying. Oy Vey!!! that’s never happened to me before.”
With the exception of a single “like” on a relevant Facebook post, Avi has reportedly been content to keep his emerging personal convictions to himself thus far. The man who had never previously identified with any particular social or meaningful cause or movement suggested, however, that he was open to stating his nascent beliefs to others, perhaps even going so far as to say why he holds such beliefs.
“I’m actually at a point where I kind of hope a conversation will naturally drift toward the issue because now I’ve got stuff to say,” said Shafran, who acknowledged that he had not yet gone so far as to prod a conversation in that direction but noted that he was considering doing so. “The thing is, I would be happy to talk about this issue. I’d even say I want to talk about it.”
“If this keeps up, I might just flat-out tell people that this thing matters to me,”Shafran continued.
In fact, Avi told reporters that given the completely unexpected nature of his first substantive viewpoint, he wondered if he might suddenly develop earnest opinions on other issues when he least suspected it.
“I really didn’t plan to be informed about this issue, so who knows if I’ll start having thoughts on other topics, too?” Shafran said. “I guess this could just keep going and going. Man, how many things can you be concerned about? A hundred? A thousand?”
Holy Gedolim, where does this end?”Shafran added.
All efforts to reach the editor of Der Zwiebel - Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, bore no vegetables.