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Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Humility is Not Weakness

June 6, 2016, by

In the delightful book, “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery there is a scene in which the Little Prince takes credit for the sunrise itself, glorying in his work in bringing about the new day.  We find this scene charming because we recognize in the Little Prince the innocence and astonishment of childhood.   The […]

Not a Negative Does Not a Positive Make

May 31, 2016, by

There is a recurring trope in comedy movies in which a leader addresses a group, asking for volunteers to “step forward.”  Of course, no one steps forward.  However, everyone but an unwitting innocent steps backward. The poor sap becomes the “volunteer”. Not stepping backward is the same as stepping forward. Applying that same “principal” to […]

A Light to the Nation: A Small People; A Great Impact

May 9, 2016, by

…but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth. – Isaiah 49:6 Haters gotta hate. Sadly, this dismissive shorthand for the cruelty of individuals and nations has weighed on Israel too heavily throughout our history.  Our tradition has incorporated it into its teaching.  […]

Distinguishing Good From Evil, Blessing From Curse

March 16, 2016, by

Rava said, It is one’s duty levasumei, to make oneself fragrant [with wine] on Purim until one cannot tell the difference between ‘arur Haman’ (cursed be Haman) and ‘barukh Mordekhai’ (blessed be Mordecai) – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 7b Over the centuries, the “duty” to make oneself “fragrant” (read, drunk) on Purim has represented the great […]

Redemption, The Ultimate Miracle: A Dreidel Story

December 2, 2015, by

My dreidels delight me. They delight me because of their colors and shapes; they delight me because of all that they represent and they delight me because guests in our home smile when they see them. But sometimes a guest will look at my collection with a curious twinkle and ask: “But why so many?   […]

Marking Time

August 31, 2015, by

I knew a man who once told me, Time passes in the blink of an eye. When he told me, I was a young man and I could not comprehend what he was saying. And then I blinked. When I think of all the minutes, all the hours, all the days when it felt as […]

The Parchment Burned…The Letters Ascended…

July 8, 2015, by

We cried out to the Eternal from the harsh sting of Pharaoh’s whip.  We wept by the waters of Babylon, bereft that our glorious Temple had been destroyed and we were driven to exile.  We were lost and vulnerable when we were cast out to the four corners of the globe when the Romans destroyed […]

The Art of Preparation

March 30, 2015, by

A thing without its place is lost. This is true of trivial things from computer files to puppies. How much more is this simple observation true when it comes to our obligation to prepare a place at Passover? Chaim, a poverty-stricken man who struggled to make the most modest of livings in support of his […]

Tu B’Shvat: 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. […]

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