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Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

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Seven: The Power of Numbers

May 11, 2011, by

Numbers have power and significance. Some numbers have greater significance than others, often due to their properties as primes or unique, or their role in anchoring our numbering system. The number one is unique. It is the identity number. It is, by definition, singular. “Who Knows One?” goes the Passover song. “One is our G-d

Give Me a Troika

April 13, 2011, by

When fulfilling the commandments that G-d has given us, I often think of dedicated high school athletes who, when their coaches say, “Jump!” do not seek an excuse to do less but rather focus on doing what the coach said, and then some. How much more should we seek to fulfill G-d’s commandments! So it

The Art of Speech

April 6, 2011, by

We speak, therefore we exist. When a newly elected member of Parliament approached the esteemed British Prime Minister Disraeli for advice, Disraeli was only too happy to share some profound wisdom and insight. “For the first six months,” Disraeli counseled, “you should only listen and not become involved in debate.” The man was perplexed. “But

Shemini: The Power of Humility

March 23, 2011, by

“Rav, we beseech you,” the townspeople of Simonia called out, approached Rav Yehuda HaNassi. “Rav, send us someone to lead us, to teach us Torah, and to take care of our needs. Send us someone like you.” To this request, Rav Yehuda HaNassi “Gave them Levi bar Sisi.” The people of Simonia were thrilled by

Purim and the Blessing of Unity

March 16, 2011, by

Klal Yisrael. All of Israel. One people. One community. One. Newspapers and web sites recently reported about several hundred passengers – Orthodox yeshiva students, tourists, secular college-aged Jews on Birthright – who were scheduled to fly to Israel found themselves stranded at JFK by the terrible blizzard that struck the northeast at the end of

The Yarmulke: A Crown of Honor, A Sign of Humility

March 9, 2011, by

Sadly, the image is not so difficult to conjure up: An old Jew, stripped to his ill-fitting pajama bottoms, his ribs pronounced in his emaciated frame, is being mocked as he is kicked and prodded through a double line of soldiers. The soldiers spit ugly epithets at the man. Though clearly frightened, the Jew endures

WISE Giving and CONFUSED Priorities

February 22, 2011, by

“The entire assembly of the Children of Israel left Moshe’s presence. Every man, whose heart inspired him came; and everyone whose spirit motivated him brought the portion of HaShem for the work of the Tent of Meeting, for all its labor and for the sacred vestments.” What happened? Didn’t the Torah previously report that Moshe

The Perfect Community

February 9, 2011, by

“AND YOU SHALL command the children of Israel.” Tetzaveh begins with a charge to Moshe to command the community of Israel to bring all that is needed to maintain the Menorah. He is also told to instruct the “wise hearted” to prepare the vestments for Aaron the Kohen. As the parasha unfolds however there seems

Birth Announcements

December 21, 2010, by

IMAGINE, the greatest of all men, the father of all prophets, the one whose name is to be associated with an eternal Torah – and what a simple and unassuming announcement of his birth. So simple is the announcement that his parents’ names are not even mentioned. A man of the house of Levi went

OU Kosher Essay/Video Contest: 7th-12th Graders

December 6, 2010, by

THIRD ANNUAL OU KOSHER ESSAY CONTEST UNDERWAY, WITH MARCH 24 DEADLINE; 12TH GRADERS ARE INVITED TO PRODUCE VIDEO ON ‘GOING KOSHER’ It’s baaaack! Building on the success and enthusiastic response to the previous contests, the Third Annual OU Kosher Essay Contest for grades 7-12 is now open for entries from students across North America, with