Shemini Atzeret

Shmini Atzeret: Election Day

October 20, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Tomorrow is Shmini Atzeret. It is also Election Day in Canada. While that is no doubt unfortunate for (observant) Jews, these days, Election Day is a bit of a misnomer. People have been able to vote for weeks, and some 4.7 million voters, or 1/6 of all eligible voters, have already voted. And when one considers that in the past nine elections turnout has been under 70%, some 25% of all votes have likely already been cast.  At the same time,...
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Hoshana Rabbah: Water Falls

October 15, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"On the Yom Tov of the last day, we read 'Kol Habechor, every first born'" (Devarim 15:19, Megillah 31a). Finding an appropriate Torah reading for Shmini Azeret is no easy task. The holiday is mentioned only twice in Chumash: once as a passing reference in Parshat Emor, where the Torah instructs us to keep Sukkot for seven days and "the eighth day shall be a holy convocation" (Vayikra 23:36), and once in...
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Shmini Atzeret & Simchat Torah: Peace, Faith and Learning

October 21, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The 14th-century legal code, the Arba Turim, the Four Rows, begins the laws of Sukkot by noting that when one sits in a sukkah, one must be cognizant of the fact that our sukkot commemorate the clouds of glory that guided and protected us during our sojourn in the desert. Our rabbis teach that it was in the merit of Aharon that we were blessed with the annanei hakavod, the clouds of glory, and that upon his death the clouds...
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