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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.

Looking for Good

Looking for Good

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Creative ways to do good. A story for the whole family.


Friends to the End

Friends to the End

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Real friends stand with each other even when it's not easy. In this week's Torah portion (Gen. 14:12-14), Abraham puts himself on the line to ...


Easy ... Does It!

Easy ... Does It!

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It's nice to be with someone who's easy to get along with. This week's Torah portion is about Noah. His name, in Hebrew, means pleasant and ...


Beware of Jealousy

Beware of Jealousy

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Jealousy is a natural but negative feeling that can cause big problems. In this week's Torah portion, Cain's jealousy of his brother, Abel, led to ...


Change Plans? Yes We Can!

Change Plans? Yes We Can!

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Being able to get used to new situations can make for a happier life. One of the main activities of the Sukkot, the Holiday of Joy, is spending ...


Mess Up? Then

Mess Up? Then "Fess" Up

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We all make mistakes - but, what should we do next? Admit it. One of the main points of Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) is to admit our ...


Don't Get Discouraged!

Don't Get Discouraged!

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When trying to do something, it's important not to get discouraged. In this week's Torah portion (Deut. 30:11-14) Moses urges the people not to ...


Chutzpah Control

Chutzpah Control

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"With all due respect" isn't just a saying - it's a way to live. In this week's portion (Deut. 28:50), the Torah refers to disrespectful ...


Help!  Overboard

Help! Overboard

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We'll enjoy life more if we don't go overboard. In this week's Torah portion (Deut. 21:20) we learn that gluttony - overindulging in food and ...


Give Peace a Chance!

Give Peace a Chance!

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A story for the entire family.


Stay Away From Leading Astray

Stay Away From Leading Astray

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When it comes to work, we shouldn't shirk. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 32:6) Moses reprimands some of the tribes who asked to avoid joining ...


Be Choosy!

Be Choosy!

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Choices matter. In this week's Torah portion (Deut. 11:13-17), God tells the people if they choose to do what's right they'll face pleasant ...


"Spoiled" is an Attitude

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Having a lot doesn't have to make us spoiled. In this week's portion (Deut. 6:10-12) Moses warns the people not to let all the wealth and good ...


Things Get Better!

Things Get Better!

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It's easier to get through bad times when we remember that eventually things will get better. On the day of Tisha B'av, we commemorate all the bad ...


Working or Shirking?

Working or Shirking?

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When it comes to work, we shouldn't shirk. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 32:6) Moses reprimands some of the tribes who asked to avoid joining ...


Cruel or Kind?

Cruel or Kind?

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Sometimes being strict is really being kind. In this week's Torah portion, we learn how Pinchas' strict reaction to the people's improper behavior ...


Respect Your Own Privacy.

Respect Your Own Privacy.

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Modesty means keeping things private that should be kept private. In this week's Torah portion, Bilaam blesses the Jewish people because they set up ...


Keep Your Cool!

Keep Your Cool!

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We can avoid making mistakes we'll regret if we keep our cool and don't get angry. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 20:10-12), Moses, although a ...


Think For Yourself!

Think For Yourself!

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We shouldn't let people talk us into doing something we don't want to. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 16:1) Korach talked a lot of people into ...


Believe In Yourself!

Believe In Yourself!

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Healthy self-confidence can make a big difference in our lives. In this week's Torah portion, (Num. 13:31) a lack of self-confidence prevented the ...


Making Dreams Come True

Making Dreams Come True

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It's great to have a dream, but the real accomplishment is making our dreams into realities. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 8:4), concerning ...


Enjoy Life!

Enjoy Life!

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Life's meant to be enjoyed. This week's Torah portion disapproves of someone purposely depriving himself of enjoyment (Num. 6:11,Rashi). The Torah ...


Count Yourself In

Count Yourself In

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Every person is important and every person counts. This week's portion takes a detailed census-count of each of the 12 tribes, not just the ...


Possessor or Possessed?

Possessor or Possessed?

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Our possessions are ours to enjoy - as long as we don't let them posses us. This week's Torah portion (Lev. 25:6) instructs farmers that while for ...


Looking Good

Looking Good

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Having a 'good eye' means more than 20/20 vision. This week's Torah portion tells us about the period between Passover and Shavuot. The highlight ...


Beating Cheating

Beating Cheating

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Even if we know we won't get caught, cheating people is wrong. In this week's Torah portion (Lev. 19:13-14) we learn the value of not taking ...


Grappling With Gossip

Grappling With Gossip

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Gossiping may seem harmless, but it can cause people a lot of pain. In this week's Torah portion we learn about tzara'at, the spiritual disease ...


Giving a Fair Hearing

Giving a Fair Hearing

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The sign of a wise or strong person isn't that he wins every argument, but that he's willing to hear out the other person's side of things and ...


Making the Impossible Possible

Making the Impossible Possible

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When something we want to accomplish looks impossible, we have two choices: either to give up or at least try to do what we can. The Jewish ...


A Different Kind of Slavery

A Different Kind of Slavery

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Do you know anyone who's a slave? No? Don't be so sure. Passover celebrates God freeing our people from slavery in Egypt. Thankfully we're not ...


Fair Share

Fair Share

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What's the secret to peace? This week's Torah portion teaches about the special 'peace offering' service in the holy tabernacle-sanctuary. Our ...


Giving From the Best

Giving From the Best

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It's nice to give away something we don't really want anyway for a good cause. But it's a great thing to give away something we do want. This ...


Stubborn or Strong-Willed?

Stubborn or Strong-Willed?

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Being 'stiff-necked' can mean more than whether we're able to turn our heads. In this week's Torah portion (Ex. 34:9), Moses calls the people ...


Making Fun Isn't Funny

Making Fun Isn't Funny

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Purim is the number one fun day in the Jewish calendar. People dress in costumes, have get-togethers with friends and family full of good music ...


Tasking Without Asking

Tasking Without Asking

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We don't have to wait to be asked to be helpful - we can volunteer. In this week's Torah portion (Ex. 25:2) we learn what happened when the people ...


Keeping Our Hands to Ourselves

Keeping Our Hands to Ourselves

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Hitting isn't fitting. This week's Torah portion teaches the penalties for those who hit or physically harm others. Even if we're upset, we should ...


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

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Help... We all need it at times, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it. In this week's Torah portion (18:17-23), Moses' ...


Needy or Greedy?

Needy or Greedy?

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Greedy grabbing isn't great. In this week's Torah portion (Ex. 16:18) the people who were greedy and grabbed more of the special manna-food in the ...


Mistake - Double Take

Mistake - Double Take

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Nothing's wrong with making mistakes, as long as we learn from them. Pharaoh, in this week's Torah portion, keeps making the same mistake of not ...


Sibling Chivalry

Sibling Chivalry

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Our siblings don't have to be our rivals. In this week's portion, Moses had an important message to deliver to Pharaoh, but his brother, Aaron, ...


Meeting the Challenge

Meeting the Challenge

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Did you know that the greatest leader in our people's history was physically challenged? Moses, the one whom God chose to deliver the Jewish ...


Parents Understand

Parents Understand

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Our parents understand more than we may sometimes think they do. In this week's Torah portion (Gen. 48:17-19) Joseph thought his father, Jacob, ...


Apparent to a Parent

Apparent to a Parent

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Parents have feelings too. In this week's Torah portion (44:30-34), Yehudah was ready to put his life on the line and face up to the powerful ...


Right Makes Might

Right Makes Might

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The story of Chanukah tells how the Jewish people faced an enemy that was trying to force them to act just like them, even though what they were ...


Reaching Out

Reaching Out

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When we see that someone is feeling down, we should reach out and try to pick him up. In this week's Torah portion (40:6-7) Joseph noticed that ...


Temper Our Temper

Temper Our Temper

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We'll do a lot better when we temper our temper. In this week's Torah portion (Gen. 35:25-30), two of Jacob's sons let their temper get the best ...


God Is Very Close

God Is Very Close

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Where is God? Everywhere! In this week's Torah portion (28:15), God tells Jacob that wherever he goes, God will be there watching over him. And ...


Hold Your Tongue

Hold Your Tongue

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We should learn to hold our tongues - but not with our hands. In this week's Torah portion ( Gen. 26:19-22), Isaac 'held his tongue' and didn't ...


Appreciate Your Mom

Appreciate Your Mom

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There's no one like Mom. This week's portion (Gen. 23:1, see Rashi) tells us of the greatness of the mother of the entire Jewish people - Sarah. ...


Pass the Test

Pass the Test

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A test isn't only something we take at school - it can be something that makes us choose between right and wrong. In this week's Torah portion ...