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 Makes Our Laws “Jewish”?

by R. Eliyahu Safran Everyone has rules.  Every society, culture, family and group.  Having rules and laws hardly makes one distinct.  From the ancient Laws of Hammurabi to English Common Law which, though not codified, has governed Britain since the twelfth century, laws have defined each and every society and culture on earth. Yet, though every people who ever existed ...

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A Nation’s Loss

by R. Eliyahu Safran A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition The news of a loved one’s death utterly transforms us and our perception of the world.  A young man, returning to his studies after being called home following the death of his father said, “The buildings were all in their familiar places, but it was a wholly different ...

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In The World. Of the World?

Kashering and the Art of Living by R. Eliyahu Safran Oy. Is there a better expression of what it means to exist in our current political and social moment? I once met a man who was a member of his local community board.  He told me that he felt so dirtied after public meetings that after he would come home ...

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Through the Eyes of a Donkey

by R. Eliyahu Safran Picture the unfolding scene – as the forty-year sojourn in the Wilderness is ending and the Promised Land is within reach, the Israelites have already defeated two kings and now Balak, King of the Moab, is fully awakened to their might.  In fear, he sends Bilaam, the sorcerer, to curse the Jews.  Stealthily approaching their camp, ...

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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 their ...

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Stiff-necked: The Soul of Man

by R. Eliyahu Safran What will it take to convince us?   What will it take to convince us that Aaron was chosen by God to serve as Kohen Gadol?  Even after Korach’s rebellion against Moses and Aaron; even after the earth swallowed them and all that was theirs… we doubted.  Even after God sent a fire to consume another two ...

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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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Which Voice is Your True Voice?

by R. Eliyahu Safran Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) ‘Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) – “Who Are You”, The Who Picture the moment as ...

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Rodef Shalom: Peace, Peace You Shall Pursue

by R. Eliyahu Safran We live in a world of turmoil – political, geopolitical, spiritual.  Too often it seems that turmoil and strife are fundamental to our natures, but they are not.  We want peace; we seek peace; we pray for peace – not because it is a hopeless dream, but because it is the gift God promises us. Shalom.  ...

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Every Grain of Sand…

by R. Eliyahu Safran …anyone who kills one soul of Israel is considered as if he has killed an entire world; And anyone who sustains one soul of Israel is considered as if he has sustained an entire world – Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 37B The vastness of the world around us can be overwhelming.  We think of the six million ...

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