Holiday Thoughts

Yom Kippur: Seeking G-d

October 08, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Seek out G-d when He can be found, call upon Him when He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Our Sages interpret this verse as referring to the Aseret Yemei Teshuva, the ten days of repentance, which begin on Rosh Hashanah and end with the conclusion of Yom Kippur. This is the season when G-d is closer to us and thus our prayers stand a “better chance” of success.These words serve as the opening verse for the haftarah for all the fast days of the...
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Rosh Hashana: From Fear to Hope

September 29, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This d’var Torah is sponsored with the wish for a Shana Tova for our parents, Howie & Hilda Libman, Leon & Ethel Bookman, our Rabbi Jay, Ilana, & family, and the entire community, from David, Karen, & Beca Bookman, Toronto.  Rosh Hashanah celebrates the coronation of G-d as King of the universe. And having G-d as our King is worthy of celebration. Rosh Hashanah is referred to by the Mishnah as the...
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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
“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 said to them, ‘Rabbis, the time for reciting the morning Shema has arrived'”.Talmud Torah k’neged kulam”, the mitzvah of learning equals all others and may be interrupted only if there...
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