Wisdom for Life From the Source: Each of Us Has a Choice to Make
May 14, 2017

Originally published in “City Beat Magazine”.

By Royi Shaffin

Each of us has a choice to make 

Every hour of every day

Between good and bad

Between right and wrong 

Each of us has a choice to make 

Every minute of every day

In what we do and what we say 

What we give and what we take

Each of us has a choice to make

When we go to sleep and when we wake

To be real or to be fake

To unleash the monster within or our wild animal to break

Each of us has a choice to make

Every second of every day

Over our emotions to reign

Our superiority to feign

Or our rightful place to claim

Each of us has a choice to make

To run away… to return

To feel hunger… to let it burn

To cling to doubt or for faith and hope to yearn

Each of us has a choice to make

Life or death, good or evil

Climb the ladder or stay at level 

Choose life!!! Choose life!!! And you will never…

Each of us has a choice to make

Lech Lecha – A Poem In Search of Oneself
November 13, 2016

By Rabbi Royi Shaffin
Lech Lecha
Go to you 
Go for you
You! Go out yonder.
Lech Lecha
Walkety walk
Walkie Talkie
Lech Lecha
Go out
Go in
Go deep inside yourself
To find your self 
Turn yourself
Inside
Outside
Like Origami
Twist and turn
Wear your inside on the outside 
Lech Lecha
Show your emotions 
Be real
To yourself
And to others
Lech Lecha
Go to a place you have never been before
A place you have never seen
Trust in God
Lech Lecha
Try new things
Explore the world 
Meet new people
Find commonality with people you think you have nothing in common with
Lech Lecha
Feel emotion 
Feel other people’s emotions 
Be an open heart
Lech Lecha
Be like Abraham
Do that which is right 
Smash idols of apathy and immorality 
Lech Lecha
Don’t just sit there
Don’t just sit in one place 
View life as a gift, a journey, an adventure 
Sieze every moment 
Lecha Lecha
Dream
Pray
Hope 
Go out and make your most fantastic dreams come true 
Lech Lecha to a place that only God can show you… and you shall be a blessing.

Bilam’s Debate
October 14, 2016

Rabbi Royi Shaffin

Oh God of the Israelites, you must be very powerful, for every time I wish to utter a curse, you change it to a blessing.  
Yes. I do and I will. You will not curse my people.
I do not know you, Oh God of Israel, but according to what they told me, you created the world and you gave humans free will. By what right do you now withdraw that right for me to make my own decisions?
I cannot let you curse them.
But what difference does it make? Why does my curse matter? I am a prophet, not a god. Why would my curse even come true if you oppose it?
Words matter.
What?
Words matter. Blessings and curses are real. Words carry power. Every day, people bless or curse one another. Those who bless are blessed themselves. Those who curse are cursed themselves.  
But what does this have to do with me?  
I am helping you to be blessed.
By removing my free will?
I never removed your free will. I’m just placing an obstacle in your path. Just as I hardened Pharoah’s heart so too am I softening your heart.
“How lovely are your tents Oh Jacob, your dwelling places Oh Israel.”