Suspended Judgment – A Shabbos Costume Ball Kabbalas Shabbos in Tsfas… Kabbalas Shabbos is Tsfas. It’s where, in the times of the Arizal, the weekly Shabbos-arrival ceremony as we know it originated. So I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that it was Kabbalas Shabbos in Tsfas, during our recent visit there, when I had a […]
Nesanel Yoel Safran
Nesanel is a writer, chef, and student and teacher of Jewish spirituality. Read more of his musings (and recipes!) at: https://soulfoodiecom.wordpress.com/
Recent articles by Nesanel Yoel Safran
Pesach lends itself to ‘extreme’ behavior, and nowhere more so than in the kitchen, as Nesanel Yoel Safran discovers.
So with no further ado, here comes NYS’s (in)famous ‘kabbalistic’* theory of cooking. The way I see it, cooking is all about the interplay of four elements that parallel the four primal mystic elements of creation. These are: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Creating a successful dish depends on nothing more than achieving a balance-point, […]
V’ne’hapchu—A Fish Story If ‘v’ne’hapchu’’—sudden dramatic turnarounds—is the essence of Purim, then many of us here in Israel live in Purim all year long. There are two things one soon learns here; ‘there are no sure things’, and ‘nothing is impossible’. proverbial tale of entering a government office armed with every possible piece of paper […]
Trees and Forests Are you a tree person or a forest person? Now I know you live in neither, but dwell in an apartment or (if you’re lucky) a house. But what I mean is, that some of us are naturally inclined to focus on the details (or, ‘trees’) of life, while others focus on […]
Book Review: Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav (by B. R. Levy) The Erev Rav (the mysterious ‘mixed multitude’ of Egyptians who joined the Jewish people upon their liberation from Pharaoh’s Egypt) has long struck me as one of the deepest and most fascinating topics in Jewish/Kabalistic thought. Now, after reading B.R. Levy’s comprehensive […]
Bottom’s up I recently had a very disturbing conversation. A Rav I know and with whom I’ve worked on a number of kiruv initiatives over the years was setting out for one of his frequent trips to the US in his valiant and seemingly indefatigable quest to reach Jewish hearts. “I’m wondering if it’s time […]
For many a baal teshuvah, one of the biggest tests is to give up being ‘cool’. I guess before you can give something up, you have to know what it is, right? So what is ‘cool’? Not an easy term to define; but I’ll take a stab at it. Cool includes a certain irony, a […]
No germs in Israel (and no bugs in America…) Being American born and bred, yet having lived most of my adult life in Israel, I suppose it’s no surprise that the contrast between the two cultures is a topic that occasionally gets me thinking. However, while until now, these ponderings have been more of the […]
“So I guess now we get back to normal,” I said to my friend, at the end of the intense, whirlwind Tishrei ‘holiday’ season. I’d expected a smiling, shrugging ‘Yeah’, in reply, but instead, my friend, a long-time baal teshuvah, seemed to take my throwaway comment with more grains of salt than a cook like […]
When we look at all our spiritual shortcomings, the task of fixing them all can seem overwhelming. But when we discover and cure the root cause behind them all they all fall away at once.