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About the Author

Nesanel Yoel Safran

Nesanel Yoel Safran, originally from Boston, is an Israel-based writer, as well as a student and teacher of Jewish spirituality. A graduate of Brandeis University, he is author of a wide variety of children’s and adult features, and currently at work on a full-length novel exploring personal transformation and spiritual awakening.

Respect the Elderly

Respect the Elderly

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It's great being young. A young person is full of energy and bursting with ideas. Yet God wants us to respect the elderly who have the wisdom of ...


Developing Bad Habits

Developing Bad Habits

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OVERVIEW When the evil king, Pharaoh, wanted to make the Jewish people into his slaves, he didn't just do it all at once. He was sneaky. At first, ...


Make a Fence

Make a Fence

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Nobody wants to get hurt, or to cause anyone else to get hurt. But sometimes it's easy to turn one's head and ignore a dangerous situation. In our ...


Treating Others Properly

Treating Others Properly

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OVERVIEW People tend to assume that the way we should treat others somehow depends on how they treat us. If someone is kind to us, we'll be kind ...


Live Like a King

Live Like a King

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Did you ever think about what it would be like to be a king? In ancient times, many kings could have and do anything they wanted. But in this ...


What's Really Valuable?

What's Really Valuable?

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OVERVIEW Sometimes what people consider being the least important things in their lives are really the most important, but they don't realize it ...


Help Our Friends

Help Our Friends

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Sometimes we get a chance to help out a friend. Whether it's to lend him something we have or just to "lend him a hand," it's a ...


Holding Onto Our Dreams

Holding Onto Our Dreams

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OVERVIEW This week the Torah takes us into the world of dreams. We see Joseph's childhood dreams coming to fruition after many years. We learn of ...


Kosher Gratitude

Kosher Gratitude

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It feels good when we get the things we want. And that's okay. But sometimes having plenty can make us feel conceited. When we feel that way, we ...


Resisting Temptation

Resisting Temptation

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OVERVIEW Life is full of temptations. We all hear those little voices, whether they're from outside or from within, that try to convince us to do ...


Don't Give Up

Don't Give Up

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Sometimes we feel like we want to give up. When things seem to be going against us we can feel sunk. But the Torah teaches us otherwise. In this ...


Feeling Rich

Feeling Rich

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OVERVIEW Would you like to be rich? Who wouldn't? The Torah tells us a surefire formula to how to strike it rich - and it has nothing to do with ...


Try To Be Fair

Try To Be Fair

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Everybody wants to be fair, but sometimes it's not easy. In our Torah portion this week, Moses tells the Jewish people about the system of Torah ...


The Power of Motivation

The Power of Motivation

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OVERVIEW When a person is motivated by a goal, he feels like he can do anything. And when he isn't motivated, the simplest tasks can seem ...


Take a Stand

Take a Stand

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Sometimes we have to take a stand. We see something wrong and we can't let it go. In our Torah portion we learn about Pinchas. He was the grandson ...


Acting on Impulse

Acting on Impulse

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OVERVIEW Many times in life we find ourselves having to make a choice - whether we are willing to commit ourselves to the kinds of things and ...


Use Your Talents Properly

Use Your Talents Properly

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Everyone has talents and strengths. These are gifts that God gave us. But abilities alone aren't what makes for a good person. It's how we choose ...


Giving More than Expected

Giving More than Expected

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A discussion story for kids on the trait of kindness.


Everyone Makes Mistakes

Everyone Makes Mistakes

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Nobody likes to make mistakes. Sometimes we wish we were perfect, or feel that we should be. But the truth is that even the greatest people ...


Seeing the Good in People

Seeing the Good in People

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OVERVIEW It's easy to see what's good about some people. Their virtues just seem to shine. But sometimes it's not so easy, and it seems like we ...


Influential Neighbors

Influential Neighbors

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In this week's Torah portion, Korach, the Levite, leads a wrongful rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Most of the people who joined up with Korach ...


Being True to Ourselves

Being True to Ourselves

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OVERVIEW It can be really tempting to follow the crowd and go along with what everyone else is doing. But sometimes the crowd is doing something ...


Gaining Self Confidence

Gaining Self Confidence

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The way we look at ourselves has a lot to do with how other people look at us. In this week's Torah portion, the Jewish people were all set to go ...


Starting Over

Starting Over

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OVERVIEW In many ways starting something over again can be even more challenging than starting something new. When things fall apart, especially ...


How to Look at Life

How to Look at Life

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Life is how you look at it. On the one hand, there's always a reason to appreciate what we have. On the other hand, we can always find a reason to ...


New Beginnings

New Beginnings

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This is a week of beginnings. We begin a new cycle of Torah readings, in which we learn about the beginning of the universe, the world, and ...


Peaceful Relations

Peaceful Relations

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For the Torah Portion in Israel, please click here: http://www.aish.com/torahportion/family/Family_Parsha_Behalotcha_5766.asp Peace is a great ...


Happiness Is An Attitude

Happiness Is An Attitude

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OVERVIEW Holidays are happy times. But there is one Jewish holiday, Succot, the Festival of Booths, when joy literally breaks through the roof. Our ...


Singing a Different Tune

Singing a Different Tune

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Not everybody is the same. Some people are more interested in one thing and some in something else. God made each of us special with something ...


Words of Gold

Words of Gold

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OVERVIEW What's more precious than diamonds or gold? A person's word of honor. Yet it isn't always easy to keep to our word, and we may even feel ...


Rules Mean We Care

Rules Mean We Care

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There are different ways to teach people the right way to behave. Sometimes a gentle word is enough. And sometimes, if that doesn't work, ...


Family Parsha Rosh Hashana

Family Parsha Rosh Hashana

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OVERVIEW The New Year is a time to make resolutions. It's a time to look at ourselves and figure out ways we can change for the better. The Jewish ...


Fashioning Our Words

Fashioning Our Words

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Each one of us carries a very big weapon -- that big weapon is the words that we speak. Our words can hurt or heal. They can be used to do ...


Enjoy Reality

Enjoy Reality

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OVERVIEW Life in the 21st century is filled with so many types of entertainment to choose from and packed with exciting new gadgets that seem to be ...


Special People

Special People

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Everybody likes to be special. To be able to do special things and have extra privileges. This week's Torah portion tells us about some of the ...


Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor

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Everyone agrees love is a good thing. But what does it mean? This week's Torah portion teaches us: "Love your neighbor like ...


Out Of Our Way

Out Of Our Way

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OVERVIEW When we are feel full of energy and bursting with ideas, we may sometimes find it hard to relate to elderly people. Elderly people used to ...


Give Your Best

Give Your Best

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In the times of the Holy Temple, a person who spoke badly about other people would get a bad skin disease. The Torah tells us what he would have ...


Safety Conscious

Safety Conscious

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OVERVIEW Being safety-conscious is a good idea. For over 3000 years the Torah has been teaching us the importance of maintaining a safe and secure ...


Admit Your Mistakes

Admit Your Mistakes

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Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. But it's often hard to admit it. In this week's Torah portion, the Kohen Gadol, the Jewish High Priest leads ...


Royal Decisions

Royal Decisions

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OVERVIEW How would you act if you were king? In ancient times, kings could often have and do whatever they wanted. But in this week's Torah ...


Don't Gossip

Don't Gossip

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"What's the latest gossip?" Some people always seem interested in the other guy's bad news. But gossip can really hurt. The Torah ...


Rainy Weather Friend

Rainy Weather Friend

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OVERVIEW Each of us is in the middle of a tug-of-war - and it's going on right inside our head! On one side of the rope stands that feeling within ...


Test of Character

Test of Character

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OVERVIEW It's a nice feeling to be able to get the things we want. But it's also a test of character. How are we going to react to our good ...


Team Players

Team Players

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In this week's Torah portion we learn more about some of the special jobs of the Kohanim, (the Jewish priests) in the Tabernacle. A lot of the ...


Never Give Up Hope

Never Give Up Hope

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OVERVIEW Sometimes things may seem so hard we feel like giving up. But the Torah teaches us that even then ... we should hang on. In our Torah ...


Giving Gifts

Giving Gifts

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Giving helps us to feel closer to the one we give to. In this week's Torah portion we learn about how the Kohanim -- the special Jewish priests -- ...


Let's Be Fair

Let's Be Fair

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Pretend you're the judge. Suppose two people are in front of you, pleading their case. One guy is super nice and is making a really good ...


Being Honest

Being Honest

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This week's Torah portion begins by telling us exactly how much of gold, silver, and copper was used to make the beautiful vessels for the ...


Good Choice

Good Choice

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Our choices and decisions don't only affect ourselves. They have an influence on others as well. In this week's Torah portion, the Jewish people ...


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