Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Natural Versus Artificial Man

September 21, 2011, by

A story tells of a fisherman living and toiling on the banks of a muddy river. As he drudged home one evening, his eyes half-closed with exhaustion, he dreamed of how different his lot would be if only he were rich… “God above,” he cried out with sudden passion. “Make me wealthy, please!” Disappointed by

Jewish Optimism

September 13, 2011, by

Doom and gloom! That is how the Jewish cynic views the authentic Jewish life. Confining. Legalistic. Obligatory. A downer! So many somber remembrances. So many burdens and obligations. Praying three times a day. Fasts. Study. Moral teachings to learn. The self to improve. “Why can’t I just be accepted for what I am,” asks the

A Man Alone, and in Community

August 31, 2011, by

“Repent, Harlequin!” said the Ticktockman… So begins a short story by science fiction writer Harlan Ellison. In it, the character of the Harlequin is effectively “chased down” by the unrelenting Ticktockman. I am not prepared to critique this short story, nor am I able to determine all the symbolism intended by Ellison. What I do

A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition

August 2, 2011, by

Grief is a fundamentally individual, transformative emotion. What can it mean to speak about “national grief, or national mourning”? Is there any calamity which a nation suffers that so alters its fundamental nature as to be truly analogous to the existential crisis the death of a loved one brings to an individual? Certainly, nations have

Sometimes You Are What You Wear! (Part II – Self Respect)

July 26, 2011, by

In the following exclusive excerpt from his book, Sometimes You ARE What You Wear, Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran addresses the general principles tzniut. Regardless of gender, age, culture or religious background, modesty is “the interchange, the nexus, between the ethical and the moral, between the inward-facing and the outward-facing”, and not simply a matter of

Sometimes You Are What You Wear! (Part I – Self Image)

July 19, 2011, by

In the following exclusive excerpt from his book, Sometimes You ARE What You Wear, Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran addresses the general principles tzniut. Regardless of gender, age, culture or religious background, modesty is “the interchange, the nexus, between the ethical and the moral, between the inward-facing and the outward-facing”, and not simply a matter of

Longing For Light

July 6, 2011, by

As we enjoy the light of the summer sun, basking in its delightful warmth, it is possible to ask, “Have we gotten our calendar all wrong? Are our long, summer vacations misplaced? Shouldn’t we refresh and relax more during those cold, hard months of winter?” After all, who needs rest and relaxation during the summer?

Come Up to Learn, Come Up to Inspire

June 14, 2011, by

“Be what you would have your pupils be. All other teaching is unblessed mockery and apery.” – Thomas Carlyle When God commanded Moshe to instruct Aaron regarding the proper method of lighting the Menorah, the Torah records that, “Aaron did that, lighting the lamps to illuminate the Menorah, as God commanded Moshe.” What a strange

Everything in Moderation

June 1, 2011, by

The Nazir suffers existential angst. He is a man of a certain faith, one which rockets between extremes – from ecstasy in God’s closeness and utter despair whenever he senses God’s distance. Despite his passionate faith and desire for a relationship with God, he is alone. In his “aloneness” he shines a light on the

To Teach, to Learn, to Repent

June 1, 2011, 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 Shema: “These words, which I command you this day, make them as a sign upon your heart and between your eyes…” Our Sages comment that

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