Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur: It's Not my Fault

September 22, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The two central and most important tefillot of Yom Kippur are the yud gimmel middot harachamim, the 13 Attributes of mercy, and the al chets, the listing of the sins we (may have) committed during the previous year. The former focus on G-d while the latter focus on man.  “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed' (Shemot 34:6): Rav Yochanan said: Were it not written in the text, it would be...
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Chagigah 14: Acher, Please Return

September 29, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the hallmarks of the Western world is its inclusiveness. Great attempts are made to make all feel included, no matter their ability or their lifestyle. This is a most beautiful sentiment. Society has become more sensitive to the needs of people who not so long ago were shunned. Yet at the same time, being welcoming and inclusive does not mean that we are to accept any and every lifestyle choice as proper. We must learn to separate the...
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Acharei Mot: Celebrating Pesach on Yom Kippur

April 11, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is quite rare to read parshat Acharei Mot on Shabbat Hagadol. In non-leap years, it is generally parshat Tzav that is read on Shabbat Hagadol. And when we do have a leap year, it is usually parshat Metzora that is read as we get set to usher in Pesach. While this or any other connection between the parsha and Pesach is “coincidental”, there is much that unites Acharei Mot with Pesach. Acharei...
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Yom Kippur: 20/20 Vision

September 13, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In trying to develop the potential of man, the Mussar movement[1] developed two different approaches to the sinning of man. One school of thought, exemplified by the approach developed in Novordak, stressed the lowliness of man--our propensity to sin, our animalistic tendencies and our need for repentance. The second school of thought, represented by Slobodka, stressed the greatness of man--created in the image of G-d, tasked with building...
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Yom Kippur: The Month After

September 25, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“For the sin we committed by wronging a neighbour, for the sin we committed by bribery, for the sin we committed in our business dealings”. On and on, we list the sins for which we beg forgiveness. And many, perhaps most, of these sins are between man and man—theft, lack of respect for others, gossip and the like.As our Sages reiterate time and time again, it is the interpersonal mitzvoth that are the most important in the hierarchy of mitzvoth...
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