Shoftim: Enabling Evil

August 17, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Evil does not exist in a vacuum. A culture is needed for evil to be nurtured, in which it can grow and develop. And when that happens, aveirah gorreret aveirah; one misdeed leads to another, greater sin. Perpetrators of corporate wrongdoing do not begin by defrauding shareholders of billions of dollars. Rather, they might begin with a little plagiarism in college, and some padding of a resume. They may then move on to...
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Menachot 2: The Power of Logic

August 15, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
There is seemingly no better proof for a Talmudic viewpoint than support from a biblical verse. Expressions such as dik’teev, “it is written”, or shene’emar, “as it says”, appear on almost every Talmudic page and are used to introduce biblical texts in support of a given view. While sages may argue on how to interpret the verse—and thus, often reach different conclusions...
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An Introduction to Masechet Menachot

August 13, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Now it came to pass after many days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering, a mincha, to the Lord” (Breisheet 4:3).  The first korban recorded in the Torah is not an animal offering, but rather a korban mincha, brought from the fruit of the land. Cain's korban was immediately followed by that of Hevel, who brought “the choicest of his flock”. Yet...
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Re'eh: Springtime

August 10, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Guard the month of the spring, and make Pesach to the Lord your G-d, because it was in the month of the spring that the Lord your G-d took you out of Egypt at night” (Devarim 16:1). Our rabbis derived from the above verse that we must fix our calendar so that Pesach always falls in the spring. Our holidays celebrate both momentous events in Jewish history and the blessing of agriculture, acknowledging that the G-d of Creation and...
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Zevachim 88: Clothes Make the Man - and Woman

July 29, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
The fashion industry is a one that employs millions of people worldwide and both reflects and molds societal trends. Top designers are paid astronomical sums for creating both popular and exclusive lines of clothing. Clothes literally do make the man –and woman. We instinctively know that how we dress impacts both upon how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves. Clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality,...
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