Holiday Thoughts

Yom Haatzmaut 68

May 12, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
“In every generation one must see himself as if he had left Egypt.” Pesach may seem like a distant memory despite it having concluded less than two weeks ago. Yet it is the legacy of Pesach that hovers so strongly in the 21 st century.    Pesach celebrates Jewish peoplehood and nationhood. Such did not come easily and was preceded by much pain and suffering - anti-Jewish laws, increased taxation, forced labour,...
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Pesach: The Simple Wise Child

April 22, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
Much ink has been spilled and much discussion ensued trying to analyze the difference between the question of the chacham and the rasha. There appears, on the basis of the question alone, little reason to identify one as wicked and the other as wise. When all is said and done, the line between good and evil is often very thin indeed. It is not easy to know how and why one child will use his wisdom for good and another for evil...
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Pesach: Old Questions, New Answers

April 22, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
  “Chanoch lena’ar al pi darcho, train each child according to their way” (Mishlei). It is at the Seder that we analyze the questions of the “four children”, but their message is relevant all year round. One approach does not fit all, nor is any approach suitable at all times. While the Torah records four discussions between parent and child (hence the four children), a comparison of the...
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Pesach: The Wise and Wicked

April 22, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
The Seder night brings together Jews from all orientations and perspectives. The future redemption of the Jewish people, a theme which is central to the seder, is dependant on different types of Jews learning how to respect each other even as we may disagree. Sukkot, which like Pesach commemorates the Exodus and looks forward to future redemption, also revolves around the theme of uniting the different segments of...
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Shabbat Hagadol: Redemption is Near?

April 15, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
  Historians and sociologists have long debated whether it is historical trends that determine the course of events, the historical personalities being of little significance, or whether it is people of great stature who shape the course of history.   Undoubtedly the answer is a combination of both, though the dominance of one over the other will vary from generation to generation. In some generations historical currents hold sway...
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