Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

To Speak For the Trees

February 3, 2015, by

I am the Lorax; I speak for the trees … – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax The noted children’s author, Dr. Seuss, understood well the importance of trees. Without them, the landscape would be ever less joyful, the paths we walk would be ever so much more bleak, and, ultimately, the lives we lead would be […]

The Four Sons: Finding the Right Method for Each Student

April 7, 2014, by

With a simple command, God makes clear that teaching is fundamental to our observance of Passover.  Fundamental and obligatory.  I must teach my son, my children, of the great miracle God performed in delivering me from slavery.  Not only must I teach, but my teaching must be personal – to me and to my student. […]

Who Am I?: Behind Our Masks

March 10, 2014, by

Who am I? In the musical, Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was a good and decent man who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family.  Imprisoned for his crime, he is given a chance to become good and decent again only to have events he has long sought to escape come back to threaten […]

The Nullity of Being and the Greatness of Being

February 13, 2014, by

Is the process of repentance and its accompanying recitation of the confession-Viddui, a manifestation of courage, creativity and spiritual and psychological strength, or is it merely a statement of self-defeat, a pathetic recognition of human frailty, inferiority and unworthiness? Sincere and authentic repentance is predicated upon the strength and ability to accuse oneself. It is […]

Chanukah Miracles: The Little Dreidle

November 18, 2013, by

Be realistic; plan for a miracle. – Osho Beis Yosef asked, “Why do we celebrate Chanukah for eight days if there was ample oil to last for one day?  It would seem that the miracle was that the oil lasted an additional seven days… in which case, Chanukah should be celebrated for seven days, not […]

Shavuot: To Teach, To Learn, To Repent

May 8, 2013, by

There is an urgency in the two Torah commandments whose obligation is constant and ever-present, to learn Torah and to repent.  The Torah is clear about this urgency in the Sh’ma:  “These words, which I command you this day, make them as a sign upon your heart and between your eyes…” Our Sages comment that […]

Hakarat Hatov

March 22, 2013, by

 “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart  Last year, not long before Passover was to begin and my thoughts were already on the coming Seders and great drama we would be observing, I happened to be just outside a building when I observed the following small […]

Chad Gadyah

March 1, 2013, by

As the Seder night ebbs away, long after the Four Questions have been asked and answered, after the festive meal has been eaten and the post-feast drowsiness descends; after the evening’s mitzvot have been observed and the fourth cup of wine emptied, we raise our voices in a curious, delightful, seemingly whimsical song at the […]