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.

Unique Abilities

Unique Abilities

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Each and every one of us has unique talents and abilities. This week's portion teaches us about how Betzalel and others discovered and combined ...


Waiting It Out

Waiting It Out

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Patience means giving the time good things need to happen. In the Torah portion, Moses was about to bring the people a great and wonderful gift ...


Giving Gifts

Giving Gifts

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Purim is a day of joy. God wants us to go out of our way on Purim to have a good time - eat, drink, and be merry! - and give to those in need. ...


Keeping Balanced

Keeping Balanced

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This week's Torah portion teaches us about the precise measurements of the vessels and furnishings of the Tabernacle. Just as when we build ...


Playing Fair

Playing Fair

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Sometimes cheating seems like a quick and easy way to get what we want. But in this week's Torah portion we learn that we should keep far away ...


Facing the Truth

Facing the Truth

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One of the hardest but greatest things to do is admit when we have been wrong. That is just what Jethro, Moses' father-in-law did. He was a famous ...


Keeping Hope

Keeping Hope

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The most important thing to remember when things look hopeless is not to give up hope! In this week’s Torah portion, the Jewish people ...


Asking Questions

Asking Questions

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We shouldn't be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions when there's something we don't understand. This week's Torah portion teaches how questions ...


True Humility

True Humility

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Humility is a very good trait. However, true humility doesn't require us to deny our strengths and abilities. Rather, we should recognize and use ...


Thinking of Others

Thinking of Others

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When things are going well for us, we shouldn't close a blind eye to others who aren't so fortunate. Moses grew up as a prince in the house of the ...


Encouraging Words

Encouraging Words

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Just as healthy food and exercise gives physical strength to one's body, hearing words of encouragement gives a boost of emotional and spiritual ...


Standing Firm

Standing Firm

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When people feel they are being unfairly taken advantage of, they often think their only choice is either to react angrily or just give in and ...


Inner Meaning

Inner Meaning

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Today many people are accustomed to giving and getting gifts on Chanukah, which is fine - as long as we remember that fancy gifts are not what ...


One Against the Many

One Against the Many

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Story for Kids: If you're outnumbered, do you stand a chance?


Don't Waste, Appreciate

Don't Waste, Appreciate

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Everything we have - including all of the world's resources like water and oil - are gifts from God that we should appreciate and not waste, even ...


Never Alone

Never Alone

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People tend to act differently when being watched than when they are alone, especially if the one watching is someone important. The truth is that ...


Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles

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Sometimes we can feel that the way we are raised makes us act in a bad way, and that we're stuck and can't change it. But we learn in the Torah ...


Inner Strength

Inner Strength

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In the playground football games, one kid was always picked last.


Keeping Quiet

Keeping Quiet

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Not all news is fit to print and not everything we hear bears repeating - especially when doing so could cause bad feelings between people. In ...


Majority Doesn't Always Rule

Majority Doesn't Always Rule

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Values are not like elections and voting - the majority doesn't necessarily rule. Abraham, our forefather, stood virtually alone as a believer of ...


Be Great, Be Yourself

Be Great, Be Yourself

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God doesn't compare us to others or expect us to be like anyone else, so why should we do it to ourselves? The Torah praises Noah and refers to ...


Tests In Our Heads

Tests In Our Heads

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In the Garden of Eden there was a special walking and talking snake with an even more special job. It would test people's characters and values ...


A Second Chance

A Second Chance

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How often do we wish we had a second chance to choose differently and undo any harmful mistakes we might have made in the past? On Yom Kippur and ...


Making Peace

Making Peace

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These special days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are traditionally a time of peace-making. People go out of their way to approach each other ...


Get Ahead

Get Ahead

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Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, literally means the 'head of the year.' And on this day we bless each other that we should 'get a-head' in all ...


Tripping Them Up

Tripping Them Up

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We all know that it's wrong to stick out our foot and purposely trip someone as he's walking - especially if the person can't see where he's ...


Focus on the Good

Focus on the Good

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Despite all the harsh treatment and brutal slavery that the Egyptians put the Jewish people through, in this week's Torah portion God instructs ...


Watch the Gates

Watch the Gates

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When a guard is protecting an object from being damaged, lost or stolen, it's a sure sign that it's valuable. There is nothing we have that is ...


Everyone Deserves Respect

Everyone Deserves Respect

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What make a person respectable? Back in biblical times there was hardly anyone with less status than an indentured servant - someone who had to ...


Rules and Limits

Rules and Limits

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Despite what their kids might think, being a parent isn't easy. One of the hardest parts of the job for a parent (and certainly for the kids) is ...


We Need Challenges

We Need Challenges

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Hardships and challenges may be a pain, but they are the necessary building blocks of growth. This week's Parsha refers to the slavery and ...


Don't Be So Afraid

Don't Be So Afraid

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Most all of us have things that make us feel afraid. This week's Torah portion teaches us the secret of how to become fearless. As the Jewish ...


None of Your Business

None of Your Business

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Quarreling is bad news. Even quarreling over something that affects us personally is really negative and something we should try our best to ...


We Like Everyone

We Like Everyone

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This Shabbat begins the Jewish month of Av, and a nine day period of remembering and mourning the tragic destruction of the Holy Temple in ...


Face The Challenge

Face The Challenge

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Being tolerant doesn't mean tolerating destructive behavior. This week we learn about Pinchas, who saved the Jewish people from a very serious ...


Real Greatness

Real Greatness

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Real greatness doesn't have anything to do with someone's fame or talents, but rather is all about his values and decency. In this week's portion, ...


Giving and Getting

Giving and Getting

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We learn in this week's Torah portion not to be overly particular and possessive about our things. When the Jewish people asked for permission to ...


Have Fun, Don't Make Fun

Have Fun, Don't Make Fun

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It's great to have fun. But having fun doesn't mean making fun of things that should be taken seriously. In this week's Torah portion, Korach was ...


View Things Positively

View Things Positively

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Did you hear the latest rumor? No? Good for you! Because when it comes to rumors, especially negative ones, we shouldn't believe everything we ...


Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to Conclusions

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Jumping off a cliff is dangerous for sure. But there is another type of jumping that is even more dangerous: jumping to conclusions about ...


True Freedom

True Freedom

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Following instructions in order to learn a valuable skill isn't limiting - it's liberating. On Shavuot, we celebrate the day God gave us the Torah ...


Sticking Close

Sticking Close

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We have so many different people in our lives that sometimes we may forget to value and appreciate the people who really care the most about us - ...


Keeping neat is Nice

Keeping neat is Nice

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There is a very special day in the Jewish calendar known as Lag B'Omer. (This year it's May 26th 2005, in the evening, until the 27th, in the ...


Dressing up Someones day

Dressing up Someones day

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It is so important not to embarrass other people, and unless we really think about it, it's possible to hurt people's feelings without even ...


The Effort To Grow

The Effort To Grow

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This time of year, the 49 days between the Passover and Shavuot holidays, is called the 'Period of the Counting of the Omer' (Sefirat Ha-Omer in ...


Be Truthful

Be Truthful

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We know that lying is wrong and we want to tell the truth. But we might not realize how easy it is to 'forget the truth' and let slip a 'little ...


Don't Get Puffy

Don't Get Puffy

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On Passover, Jews all over the world eat a special flatbread called matzah. The only difference between it and regular bread is that matzah is ...


Use Your Abilities

Use Your Abilities

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Different things are expected from different people. In this week's Torah portion, we learn about how a certain offering requirement in the ...


Benefit of the Doubt

Benefit of the Doubt

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Each of us has a judge and jury inside of our heads, and each incident we see is another 'court case' for us to decide whether the people involved ...


The Right Intentions

The Right Intentions

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The two sons of Aaron, the High Priest, had the best of intentions when they went into the Tabernacle and chose to make an offering to God that ...


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