Holiday Thoughts

Tu B'Av : The Happiest Day

August 15, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no days more joyous than the 15th of Av (Tu b'Av) and Yom Kippur, for on those days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothing, in order not to embarrass those who did not have...and the daughters of Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards.” (Mishna Ta’anit 4:8). Our tradition teaches that the birth of the Mashiach will take place on Tisha B'Av...
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Thoughts on Tisha B'Av: Constructive Hatred

August 09, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One does not have to look very hard to find sources within our tradition that allow, encourage, or even demand that we “hate” others.  While the mitzvah to love our neighbour as ourselves is, according to Rabbi Akiva, the fundamental principle of the Torah, many restrict our neighbour (re'acha) to re'acha b’mitzvot, our neighbour in mitzvoth, excluding those are not observant.The Shulchan Aruch codifies laws regarding...
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Pesach: Sunrise in Bnei Brak

May 10, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This d’var Torah is sponsored in honour of the birth of Rachel Bracha Kelman. Mazal tov to Peninah and Maury and to the entire family. May they merit raising Rachel Bracha leTorah, Chupah and Ma'asim Tovim. “It happened that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reclining in B’nei Brak discussing the Exodus all night until their students arrived and...
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Chanukah: Down Memory Lane

December 02, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We tend to assume that, with the recital of the shir shel yom (the daily psalm—or Aleinu if you daven nusach sefarad), Shacharit is over. Yet a quick glance at the siddur demonstrates that this is not necessarily so. While not widely observed today, there is a custom to recite the shesh zechirot, six remembrances, printed at the end of Shacharit in all standard siddurim. These zechirot ...
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Sukkot: Seeing Double

September 23, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week’s d’var Torah is sponsored by Gershon and Leah Vandenbrink with best wishes for a joyous Sukkot. 
In rabbinic literature, Sukkot is known simply as “Chag,” (the holiday), implying that it is the holiday par excellence. It is the most joyous of holidays both thematically and experientially. It is our z’man simchateinu, the time of our happiness.  In Temple times it was marked by the ...
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