Holiday Thoughts

Sukkot: Leaving Home

September 30, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And you shall take for yourself on the first day a beautiful fruit of the tree, an unopened palm frond, myrtle branches, and willows and you shall rejoice before G-d for seven days" (Vayikra 23:40). The halacha stipulates a number of ways to fulfill the mitzva of rejoicing (simcha); eating meat, drinking wine, buying new clothes, learning Torah, sharing our blessings with others. Yet ultimately, simcha is achieved through feeling the presence...
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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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Rosh Hashanah: Time to Remember

September 16, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
David, Karen, and Beca Bookman wish their parents, families, friends, and the Or Chaim Minyan a Happy and Healthy Shana Tova, and a Shana Tova to Rabbi Jay...
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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 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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