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.

A Mile in His Shoes

by R. Eliyahu Safran How beautiful are thy feet in sandals… (Shir Hashirim 7:2) Is there anything more symbolic of the humility of man than our feet, carriers of our weight and burden?  I do not doubt that it is for that reason that in other traditions, when one seeks to demonstrate true and deep humility, one washes the feet ...

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Do Not Be Jealous of Riches; Envy Righteousness, and Pursue It

by R. Eliyahu Safran Money, power, position.   The fervent desire for and pursuit of these things has defined much of human history.  Our lust and need of these things, lays at the foundation of our behavior as individuals and nations.  The pursuit of these things has sometimes resulted in the best of what the world offers, and, more often, the ...

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Pregnancy and the Power of Prayer

by R. Eliyahu Safran Ultrasounds.  Blood tests. Amniocentesis.  Genetic testing.     Some social commentators have a dark, dystopian view of these tests.  Others see in them great potential for happy, healthy babies and families.  Either way, they highlight that a woman’s pregnancy is a time rife with anxiety, hope, fear, and great possibility. And while the medicine and technology might be ...

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A Good Name: Our Blessing, Our Heritage

by R. Eliyahu Safran Reflections on our grandfather – Rav Bezalel Ze’ev Shafran ZT’L The Bible has numerous instances when the curse of wrongdoing is visited on multiple generations to come.  L’havdil!  So too does it assign the blessings of learning and good judgement to the generations of a righteous and good man.  Though we may not feel worthy, the ...

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Trust When it Counts

by R. Eliyahu Safran We see the advertisements, selling the trustworthiness of financial advisors and institutions. These commercials resonate with us because we know how important it is to trust the one with influence or control over our money, our assets.  Certainly the same was true in Avraham’s time. It was a lucky man indeed who had someone he could ...

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Hineini: Abraham’s Test and Our Future

by R. Eliyahu Safran And Abraham raised his eyes and saw – behold a ram! – afterwards, caught in the thicket by its horns, so Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as an offering instead of his son (Bereishit 22:13) Who dares imagine Abraham’s heart at that awful moment when he was tested and called to place ...

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Say What You Mean. Words Matter

by R. Eliyahu Safran Vayomer Elokim… And God said… With the power and majesty of His words, God brings into being all of Creation.  With ten Divine utterances, all that is was brought into existence.  In doing so, God not only presented Himself as the Creator of all but demonstrated the power of speech, a gift he bestowed on the ...

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To Kiss, To Dance, To Be One

by R. Eliyahu Safran To kiss is to express intimacy; to dance is to fill space with movement, with passion and joy.  In small and large ways, to kiss and to dance are ways to express love and devotion, two sentiments at the heart of the Simchat Torah celebration. Torah is our most precious possession, our gift.  To our mortal ...

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To Remember, To Forget

by R. Eliyahu Safran Forgetfulness is a form of freedom. – Kahlil Gibran  Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future. – Elie Wiesel Each of us is granted two precious and seemingly contradictory gifts – memory and forgetfulness.  Of these two, we often value memory more, for without memory, we simply ...

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What Does it Take?

by R. Eliyahu Safran In speaking to potential ba’alei teshuvah we often say, just do the mitzvah, just light the candles; the action will begin to suffuse the goodness into your soul.  We know that if one waits for the inner motivation to be good and to do mitzvot… well, sometimes we have a long wait ahead of us!  So, ...

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