Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Ki-Tisa: Where is Moshe

March 05, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The mark of a great leader is the ability to inspire others—even in their absence. A great company operates at peak efficiency even when the CEO is on vacation, just as a great school functions smoothly even if the principal is away. Similarly, a parent’s role is to raise children so that they will become independent. When children and grandchildren embody the values of their ancestors long after they have passed away, we see the mark of truly...
Continue Reading »

Tezaveh: Beyond Clothes

February 26, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the key ways by which groups self-identify is through the medium of clothes. Almost all religions have some form of dress code or uniforms, which aim to foster a sense of uniformity in action and sometimes in thought and are the norm among such diverse groups as the police force, athletes, fast-food workers and airlines. The more casual business attire now widely accepted reflects the desire for individuality in the workplace ...
Continue Reading »

Purim: Shaping Jewish History

February 25, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Rare is the person who has the opportunity to knowingly shape the course of Jewish history. Most are happy to be relieved of that responsibility. From Moshe to Yonah, Yirmiyahu to Esther, few are willing to carry such awesome responsibility on their shoulders. And even—or, shall we say, especially—when taken on willingly, the burden can be too much to handle. How can one be confident in a decision made today, the impact of which will...
Continue Reading »

Mishpatim: Sequel to Sinai

February 12, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is common after a major event to have difficulty getting back into our daily routine. Whether it is a child's wedding, an exotic vacation or a summer at camp, rarely do we feel ready to return to our daily schedule—something we all yearn for at this time. Surely the excitement of the events surrounding the receiving of the Torah at Sinai would qualify as a major event—and then some. The thunder, lightning, and masses...
Continue Reading »

Yitro: A Perfect Ten

February 04, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In the Western world, the number ten represents perfection. Not surprisingly, this concept seems to be rooted in our biblical tradition. “In ten utterances, the world was created (Avot 5:1)." And what a world it was! “And G-d saw all that He did, and it was very good”. Yet instead of “working and guarding” this world as we were commanded (Breisheet 2:15), ten generations later “[There are] ten...
Continue Reading »