Holiday Thoughts

Tisha B'Av: Courage of Convictions

July 27, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Do not be afraid of [any] man”. Parshat Devarim, which is always read on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, begins with Moshe’s exhortations regarding the establishment of a system of justice. Such a system must operate free from outside influences. When fear enters into the deliberations of those who interpret the law, or into other positions of leadership, society is doomed. During the last weeks of his life, Moshe Rabbeinu prepares the people...
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Yom Yerushalayim: Natural and Supernatural

May 21, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Jewish nation waited for close to 1,900 years to regain sovereignty over G-d’s chosen land. It took an additional 19 years until sovereignty was established “in the place that I will choose to place My name.” The famous words of Brigade Commander Motta Gur, “Har haBayit b’yadeinu, the Temple Mount is in our hands,” marked one of the momentous events of Jewish history; the presence of G-d was closer that it had been for almost 2,000 years.In...
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Yom Ha'atzmaut: Turning Dreams Into Reality

April 26, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“When G-d brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like dreamers” (Psalms 126). Who would have believed that after 1,900 years—and a mere three years after the greatest tragedy in Jewish history—the Jewish people could become sovereign in their land? Throughout most of our exile, Israel was a distant place: physically, spiritually, and perhaps most important, conceptually.Much of the opposition to Zionism was based on the notion that the...
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Who Is Invited to the Seder?

April 05, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This d'var Torah is sponsored by David, Karen, & Beca Bookman, in memory of Karen's mother, Hilda Libman z”l, of Toronto. May we have a joyous and meaningful Pesach, and celebrate smachot. "And the more one engages in the recounting the story of the Exodus, the more praiseworthy it is". To prove this point, the Haggadah recounts the story of the five Sages who spent "kol otto halayla", that entire night,...
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Pesach Cleaning: The New Slavery

April 03, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Like so many children, Pesach was my favourite holiday. Some of my fondest memories revolve around the seder. As an adult, not much has changed—save for the fact that I am aware that for many, especially women, Pesach is their least-favourite holiday. Why? Because they spend an entire month on cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. This is sad and unnecessary. The Talmud teaches that all—even the Sefer Torah in the ark...
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