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.

The Gift of Closeness

The Gift of Closeness

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This week's portion teaches us the secret of how to become closer to someone else - by giving to him. The portion describes the different types of ...


Hidden Good

Hidden Good

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A big lesson of Purim is that sometimes things that seem bad are really God's hidden ways of giving us something good. In the Megilla, the Purim ...


A Job Well Done

A Job Well Done

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Whatever we do, we should try to do it right and not just half-heartedly. In this week's portion, the Torah points out how Betzalel and the others ...


Willing to Try

Willing to Try

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What is the secret to success? We might think that success depends on training, talent and experience. While these things are certainly valuable, ...


Accepting Ourselves

Accepting Ourselves

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OVERVIEW In this week's Torah portion we learn about the special mixture of incense spices that was used in the Tabernacle offerings. An ...


A Surprising Uplift

A Surprising Uplift

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OVERVIEW Sometimes the things that knock us down are exactly the things that lift us up. In this week's portion we learn about the special pure ...


Having Integrity

Having Integrity

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New! Torah Portion Coloring Pages OVERVIEW In this week's Torah portion we learn that the holy ark which held within it the tablets of the Ten ...


Thanking Our Parents

Thanking Our Parents

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While we should treat everyone with respect, when it comes to our parents, the people who gave us our very lives, we have to go out of our way and ...


Being Humble

Being Humble

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In this week's Torah Portion, Moses shows us one of the things that made him great. When his father-in-law, Jethro, criticizes him over something ...


Being Greedy

Being Greedy

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There is nothing wrong with taking what we need, but taking more than we need just because we can, is called being greedy. When our ancestors left ...


Being Stubborn

Being Stubborn

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Who doesn't prefer for things to go the way we'd like them to? But when they don't and we stubbornly refuse to accept a reasonable compromise, we ...


Keeping Promises

Keeping Promises

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Although we can't see it or touch it, our word is one of the most important things we possess. Keeping our word means doing what we say, and not ...


Seeing Our True Abilities

Seeing Our True Abilities

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Each of us has inside ourselves the ability to accomplish much more than we realize. Yet sometimes we let our fears and feelings of not being good ...


Unique Blessings

Unique Blessings

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We all admire great people and wish we could be great too. The truth is we can, and it's easier than we think. The secret to becoming great is ...


The Secret of Forgiveness

The Secret of Forgiveness

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Forgiving people and not holding grudges against them is not only good for them -it's also good for us. Sometimes the anger we hold inside against ...


Using Our Strength

Using Our Strength

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There's more to Chanukah than spinning tops and eating potato pancakes. The first Chanukah millennia ago - and Chanukah today - represents a great ...


Not Being Jealous

Not Being Jealous

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Sometimes we feel jealous - that if we had what someone else has, our lives would be better and happier. But the truth is that God has given each ...


Acting on Impulse

Acting on Impulse

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It's important to learn how to keep our cool even when things get hot. Acting rashly or impulsively without thinking things through can lead us to ...


Blessing in Disguise

Blessing in Disguise

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How should we react when things don't go the way we want them to? In this week's Torah portion, our forefather Jacob carefully planned and worked ...


Strong Words

Strong Words

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When people get into a conflict, it may seem the only way out is to fight it out. But the Torah teaches us there is a better way. Unlike his ...


True Kindness

True Kindness

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It is important to be kind, but what if being kind in one way will end up causing us to be dishonest in another? This week's Torah Portion ...


Jewish Hospitality

Jewish Hospitality

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Hospitality - taking in and taking care of guests - is a timeless Jewish value. Abraham, the first Jew, even as an old man would literally run ...


Standing Against the Crowd

Standing Against the Crowd

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Being part of a group is great, but it can also drag us down if there is some negative behavior in the group and we feel pressured to go along. In ...


Keep It Clean

Keep It Clean

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Even though we may realize the value of keeping ourselves and our environment clean, we may not realize that besides taking showers and not ...


Creating The World

Creating The World

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Parshat V'Zot HaBracha will be read on Simchat Torah, which is on Friday, October 8 outside of Israel, and Thursday, October 7 in Israel. ...


Count People In

Count People In

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One of the important lessons of Sukkot is tolerance - that it takes all of kinds of Jews to make a complete nation of Israel. On Sukkot we ...


Family Parsha Yom Kippur 5765

Family Parsha Yom Kippur 5765

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Everyone makes mistakes - it's only human. A lot of times, we feel bad if we do something we shouldn't. But what is done is done. On Yom Kippur, ...


Don't Waste Things

Don't Waste Things

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God gives us so many good things. He wants us to enjoy the good of the world, but He doesn't want us to waste it. In this week's Torah portion we ...


Acting In Our Best Interest

Acting In Our Best Interest

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Sometimes we find ourselves acting in ways that are self-destructive, even when we know better. This is what we learn from this week's Torah ...


We Are All Connected

We Are All Connected

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How we act doesn't affect ourselves alone. It influences others too. This is why a person can't always just "do his own thing." In this week's ...


The More We Have

The More We Have

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It is natural to feel that the more we have the happier we will be. But the truth is that it doesn't always work that way. In fact, many times ...


Pick Ourselves Up

Pick Ourselves Up

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Who hasn't, at one time or another, said or done something we wish we hadn't? But that's no reason to get down on ourselves. In fact the Torah ...


Caring for God's Creatures

Caring for God's Creatures

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OVERVIEW Animals are God's creatures too, and He wants us to make sure to treat them right. This week's portion tells us some of the ways we should ...


How to Excel

How to Excel

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Who wouldn't love to excel - to experience and achieve more than most people ever do? It sounds exciting - and fun. Excelling requires making a ...


Ten Percent

Ten Percent

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Tithing - the practice of passing along a percentage of whatever we earn or receive to a worthy charitable cause - is an ancient and time-tested ...


Kind and Caring

Kind and Caring

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OVERVIEW We all know how important it is to care about others. God wants us to be kind and caring, and He has filled the Torah with many mitzvot ...


Faith Healing

Faith Healing

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A father's struggle with faith amidst loss and pain.


Others' Needs

Others' Needs

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OVERVIEW Most people don't have any trouble being concerned about their own wants and needs. When we're hungry, we eat. When we're tired, we rest. ...


Beautiful Planet

Beautiful Planet

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OVERVIEW God gave us a beautiful planet to live on, and He wants us to take good care of it. In this week's Torah portion we learn about how even ...


- Family Parsha Behar-Bechukotai -

- Family Parsha Behar-Bechukotai -

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OVERVIEW There are different ways to teach people the right way to behave. Sometimes a gentle word, or hint is all it takes. But if these are ...


Close to Someone Far

Close to Someone Far

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OVERVIEW There are different ways of being close to someone else. One way is to be physically near him, but another, more spiritual way to be close ...


Responsibility Pays

Responsibility Pays

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OVERVIEW There are different ways to teach people the right way to behave. Sometimes a gentle word, or hint is all it takes. But if these are ...


The Best Connection

The Best Connection

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OVERVIEW This week's Torah portion speaks about the greatness of the Land of Israel and how special it is. In one of its praises, it compares the ...


Individuality on the field

Individuality on the field

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OVERVIEW Every one of us is unique. Each person has his own special talents, tastes, and ways of expressing himself. Even groups of people who may ...


Let's Play Fair

Let's Play Fair

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OVERVIEW Our desire to get ahead and reach our goals can tempt us to act in a less than upright manner. Yet the Torah assures us that only by ...


Good Speech

Good Speech

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The Family Parsha for Tazria-Metzora is dedicated: In memory of Abba Fleiger whose love for children lives on. OVERVIEW What is called innocent ...


The Transition

The Transition

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OVERVIEW Many times life requires us to make transitions from something old and familiar to something new. It's not always easy to face these ...


With Love For All

With Love For All

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We are now in the midst of a three-week period (from the 17th of the Jewish month, Tamuz, until the 9th of the month of Av) in which many ...


Too Much of a Good Thing

Too Much of a Good Thing

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If a little bit is good, then a lot must be better, right? Not necessarily. In this week's Torah portion we learn about Nadav and Avihu, the sons ...


Confrontation and Peace

Confrontation and Peace

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OVERVIEW It is important to seek peace, but that doesn't mean we should run away from all conflicts and confrontations. In this week's Torah ...