Nesanel Yoel Safran
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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.

Other People's Things

Other People's Things

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Should I care how I treat somebody else's stuff? The Torah's answer is 'Yes.' In this week's Torah portion, we learn guidelines about how to ...


Sukkot Family Parsha: Four Square

Sukkot Family Parsha: Four Square

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Four Square


Temper, Temper

Temper, Temper

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When we lose our temper, we lose a lot. This week's Torah portion includes the famous Ten Commandments. One of the big ten is not to worship idols. ...


Problems Aren't Forever

Problems Aren't Forever

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One good thing about problems is that they don't last forever. When the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, it felt like they'd never be free. But ...


What You Have To Do

What You Have To Do

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When it comes to things we have to do, but don't want to do, we have a choice: either to do them the easy way or the hard way. If Pharaoh had freed ...


Different Kind of Greatness

Different Kind of Greatness

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How many of us can be truly great? The Torah's answer is: everyone! In this week's portion, the Torah (Shmot 6:26) mentions Aaron's name before ...


Show Your Gratitude

Show Your Gratitude

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Nobody wants to be an ingrate. In this week's Torah portion we learn about one of the biggest ingrates of all time - the evil king, Pharaoh. ...


Get Well Sooner

Get Well Sooner

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Being sick is no fun. But one thing that makes it more bearable is a get-well visit from a friend. In this week's portion we see how when Joseph ...


Family Parsha

Family Parsha

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Some people may be better at some things than others but it doesn't make them better people. Only all of us together can make the Jewish people complete.


Shame On Nobody

Shame On Nobody

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We may get mad and want to give whoever made us mad a piece of our mind, but before we let it fly, we should think about this week's Torah Portion ...


Be Willing To Try

Be Willing To Try

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Sometimes we can accomplish much more than we ever imagined, but only if we're willing to try. On Chanukah, our ancestors refused to give up the ...


Don't Accuse So Fast

Don't Accuse So Fast

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A person should always think twice before accusing someone of wrongdoing. In this week's Torah portion, Yehuda, one of Jacob's sons, accuses his ...


New and Better People

New and Better People

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One of the best ways to grow is by facing and overcoming challenges. In this week's Torah portion, Jacob faces the struggle of having to defend ...


Working Together

Working Together

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Nobody likes dealing with bullies, but sometimes there is no choice in the matter. In this week's Torah portion, Jacob had to contend with the ...


Facing a Bully

Facing a Bully

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Nobody likes dealing with bullies, but sometimes there is no choice in the matter. In this week's Torah portion, Jacob had to contend with the ...


Reliable Choice

Reliable Choice

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Being reliable when helping others is a positive trait. In this week's Torah portion, Abraham asks his reliable servant, Eliezer, to help him find ...


Selfishness

Selfishness

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Selfishness is a trait to avoid. In this week's Torah portion, we learn about the cruel and wicked city of Sodom. They were so selfish that it was ...


Don't Give Up Hope

Don't Give Up Hope

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When it comes to things that are worthwhile, we should never give up hope. Abraham and Sarah were childless for many, many years and had reached ...


Love Responsibility

Love Responsibility

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Most of us have heard about Noah and the ark. But do you know what Noah spent most of his time doing while on board? He was rushing around, taking ...


Sibling Harmony

Sibling Harmony

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Getting along with siblings has been a challenge ever since time began. In this week's portion, we learn about the first siblings ever - Cain and ...


Less Is More

Less Is More

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One of the lessons of Sukkot is that we don't need to have a lot of 'things' in order to be happy. Sukkot is called the 'holiday of joy' - the ...


Less Is More

Less Is More

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One of the lessons of Sukkot is that we don't need to have a lot of 'things' in order to be happy. Sukkot is called the 'holiday of joy' - the ...


New Changes

New Changes

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Sometimes life asks us to adjust to things, changing from what we're used to. In this week's Torah portion, Moses, the only leader the people ...


Good Excuse

Good Excuse

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Making excuses can seem like the easy way out, but in the end, it never gets us anywhere. This week's portion (30:12-13) acknowledges how tempting ...


Honor Your Parents

Honor Your Parents

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Since we spend so much time around our parents, it's easy to forget to appreciate them and treat them with respect. This week's Torah portion ...


Finders Keepers?

Finders Keepers?

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What should we do if we find something that's not ours? Though it might be tempting to pocket it, especially if no one else would ever know, this ...


Don't Be Superstitious

Don't Be Superstitious

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There's no reason to be superstitious. In this week's Torah portion (18, 9-11) we learn that the Torah way is to live our lives with trust in God ...


How To Enjoy Life

How To Enjoy Life

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God wants us to enjoy life. This week's Torah portion (12:20-25) tells us that it's perfectly fine to desire and enjoy good food, etc, as long as ...


Bring Out Our Best

Bring Out Our Best

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Sometimes it takes things to get their worst in order to bring out our best. In this week's Torah portion (8:2) Moses tells the people that all the ...


Don't Expect Anything

Don't Expect Anything

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We appreciate life - and other people - much more when we don't have the spoiled attitude of expecting everything to be given to us. In this week's ...


Build Someone's Dignity

Build Someone's Dignity

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This coming week we commemorate "Tisha b'Av," the day set aside for mourning the tragic destruction of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem, ...


Sticky Situation

Sticky Situation

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A High Holiday ethical dilemma to read and discuss with your kids.


Enjoy the Ride

Enjoy the Ride

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This week's Torah portion describes in detail the 40-year journey of the Jewish people, from their escape from the slavery of Egypt, until they ...


Too Much is No Good

Too Much is No Good

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Sometimes what we think is being kind is really being cruel. In this week's Torah portion (31:14) we learn of some officers who disobeyed Moses by ...


With All Due Respect

With All Due Respect

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Although we should respect authority, that doesn't mean we can't question authority if we feel something is unfair. In this week's Torah portion we ...


Different Beings

Different Beings

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There's nothing wrong with being different from the crowd. In this week's Torah portion (23:9), the Jewish people are told that their values and ...


Good Choice

Good Choice

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No matter what dumb or foolish choice a person may make in life, there's always hope to change things for the better. In this week's Torah portion ...


False Accusations

False Accusations

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We have to be very careful not to falsely accuse someone of doing wrong. In this week's portion, Korach and his followers falsely accuse Moses of ...


Forgiveness

Forgiveness

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No matter how angry we get, we should try to leave room in our hearts to be willing to forgive. In this week's portion, even though the people's ...


Positive Speech

Positive Speech

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The Torah value of speaking only positively about other includes even members of our own family. In this week's Torah portion we learn that Moses' ...


Don't Steal

Don't Steal

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Taking something that doesn't belong to us - even if it seems we have a good excuse - is stealing. In this week's Torah portion (5:6-8) we learn ...


Following the Lead

Following the Lead

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Being a leader is a privilege, but it's also responsibility. This week's Torah portion lists the leaders of the 12 Jewish tribes who led their ...


Seeing Things Differently

Seeing Things Differently

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It's good to try to see the good in everyone. The holiday of Lag B'Omer celebrates, among other things, the life and teachings of the great ...


Treat Everyone With Respect

Treat Everyone With Respect

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When it comes to treating people with kindness and respect, there are no exceptions to the rule. In this week's Torah portion we learn that even a ...


To Trip Someone Up

To Trip Someone Up

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Everyone would agree that purposely putting something in the way of a blind person to make him trip would be cruel and wrong. But there are other ...


Ask the Question

Ask the Question

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Passover is a time of asking questions. One of the highlights of the Passover Seder is when kids ask their parents the 'four questions': 'Why is ...


A Good Home

A Good Home

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How we choose to act at home has a big effect on how our home is going to feel. In this week's Torah portion, we learn that in the times of our ...


Judge Fairly

Judge Fairly

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A wise person doesn't judge people or things by the way they first appear. In this week's Torah portion, we learn how the Jewish priests, the ...


Inside and Out

Inside and Out

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It's an important value to be genuine and not hypocritical. This week's Torah portion discusses what physical signs make an animal kosher. One of ...


Being Happy

Being Happy

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Purim is a holiday of happiness when we celebrate God's great Purim miracles. What seemed like a desperate and hopeless situation for our people, ...


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