Author Archives: Eliyahu Safran

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, lecturer and author. He has devoted many years in the rabbinate, Jewish education, and as vice president of marketing and communications at OU Kosher. He resides in New York, while enjoying his long stays in Jerusalem. His highly acclaimed "Something Old, Something New - Pearls from the Torah" has been published by KTAV, July 2018.

What We Remember, What We Forget

by R. Eliyahu Safran There is a movie in which the main character suffers from severe short-term memory loss.  To cope, he develops a system that allows him to negotiate the world.  One aspect of his system is to write copious notes of everything that happens, the most important of which he tattoos on his body, so it become permanent.  ...

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The Indignities and Insults We Visit Upon One Another

by R. Eliyahu Safran Reflections Based on Teachings of Rav Bezalel Ze’ev Shafran Often, it seems that all we do is engage in debasement and insult, both overt and subtle.  There are sociologists and psychologists who suggest that our constant conflict with one another is “hardwired” into our natures and social structure.  Our insulting behavior, according to these professionals, is ...

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Jealousy’s a Hungry Heart

by R. Eliyahu Safran Wanting is not inherently wrong; wanting to love, wanting to be loved, wanting comfort, a nice house, fine clothes.  It’s only when wanting is driven by jealousy that it becomes a fault.  Too often, we want things not because they enrich our lives or reflect well on ourselves and our community but because someone else has ...

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The Akedah: A Sacrifice and A Redemption for all time

by R. Eliyahu Safran Reflections Based on Teachings of Rav Bezalel Ze’ev Shafran ZT’L Few moments in Torah have had as deep an impact on our psyches as the moment when Avraham Avinu is called upon by God to sacrifice the son he had waited long into advanced age to father.  There is no way to diminish the awesomeness of ...

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The Shisha Sidrei Mishnah: A Map of Jewish Life

by R. Eliyahu Safran Reflections based on teachings of Rav Bezalel Ze’ev Shafran ZT’L We study Mishnayot, the basis of Torah Sh’bal Peh, the Oral Law, nearly every day.  Currently, in the daily Mishnah cycle, we are learning Seder Zeraim, the first of the Shisha Sidrei Mishnah (Six Orders of Mishnah). Before certain Yamim Tovim we review Mishnayot from Seder Moed.  ...

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Clothes Make the Man

by R. Eliyahu Safran You are what you wear…   It was only after Miriam passed on that her greatness was fully appreciated.  With her gone, the “well” dried up and the people learned that the water had been gushing in her merit, certainly not theirs.  So too when Aaron passed away.  After a period of mourning, the people resumed ...

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Given Eyes to See

by R. Eliyahu Safran The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. – Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost It is true you cannot tell a book by its cover.  Appearances sometimes deceive.  And sometimes it is our ability to comprehend that which limits our vision.   We pass by a young man hobbled by a physical deformity and presume that ...

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Come Up To Learn; Come Up To Inspire

by R. Eliyahu Safran Be what you would have your pupils be.  All other teaching is unblessed mockery and apery. -Thomas Carlyle When God commanded Moshe to instruct Aaron regarding the proper method of lighting the Menorah, the Torah records that, “Aaron did that, lighting the lamps to illuminate the Menorah, as God commanded Moshe.”  What a strange observation this ...

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