Lech Lecha: Counting Sheep

October 19, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And there was an argument between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock, and the Canaanite and the Perizite were then in the land" (Breisheet 13:7).   Abram, Sarai, and Lot returned to Israel after their stay in Egypt, one which had brought them great financial success. As is too often the case, with increased wealth comes increased fighting. Instead of being thankful for one's...
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Menachot 44: A Slap in the Face

October 18, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
There is little that turns one off from religion more than corruption in the religious sphere. When one sees someone cheating who outwardly presenting as religious, the harm to religion is incalculable. It is the ultimate in chilul Hashem, causing others to disdain religion and even to hate G-d (see Yoma 86a). And when the dishonesty manifests in the religious sphere itself, the chilul Hashem is...
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Noach: Coming Apart, Coming Together

October 11, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And the entire land were of one language, and the same things” (Breisheet 11:1). What a beautiful description of a world at peace! A world in which people are speaking the same language, literally and figuratively, and pursuing similar goals sounds almost like Gan Eden. Yet apparently, G-d did not approve. “From the place, G-d scattered them all over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city” (Breisheet...
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Menachot 43: Missing No Longer!

October 09, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Our generation has been blessed with the renewal of two mitzvot that had, for all intents and purposes, lay dormant for centuries.  It is our generation that merited the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth and the reestablishment of a Jewish state. For the first time in close to 2,000 years, we are sovereign in our own land, affording us the opportunity to become a “light unto the...
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Breisheet: Purposeful Ambiguity

October 05, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d said: What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground" (Breisheet 4:10). G-d approached Cain after the murder of Hevel with a question, hoping that Cain would do teshuva for the murder of his brother. Did he? The text is unclear: "And Cain said to G-d: gadol avoni mi'n'so, [Is?]my sin is too great to bear" (Breisheet 4:13). Whether this is a...
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