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 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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The Will of Sinai

by R. Eliyahu Safran The Will of Sinai: The Mamzer and The Consequences of Radical Individualism I planned each charted course Each careful step along the byway And more, much more than this I did it my way “My Way” (sung by Frank Sinatra) How we admire the character of Frank Sinatra as he croons about doing it “my way”!  We ...

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Waze Can’t Get You There

by R. Eliyahu Safran …only at the place that Hashem, your God, will choose from among all your tribes to place His name shall you l’shichno tidreshu (seek out His Presence and come there)  -Devarim 12:5 We are told to seek God’s presence [tidreshu] and come to that place that He will choose for us.  What, in this context, does it ...

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Rachmanus, Rachmanus… Rodef Rachmanus!

by R. Eliyahu Safran Rabbi Soloveitchik does not mince words, “The experience of Egyptian servitude underlies the very morality of the Jew.”  The import of what he asserts here is vital if we are to truly understand the call to holiness that is, at its foundation, what it means to be a Jew. Even for a people who have known ...

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