Breisheet: Guardians of the Garden

October 16, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it, l'ovdah, and watch it, l'shomrah" (Breisheet 2:15). A perfect world beckons. Everything is "very good" and man, as the centre of creation, is free to enjoy the fruits of G-d's labour. He is to “fill the earth and conquer it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast...
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Breisheet: Sin and Sinning

October 25, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The holidays of Tishrei—with their emphasis on sin, repentance, reconciliation, and joy—are behind us. It is time to get back to our “normal” routine and catch up on the many items on our agenda. From a practical point of view, the New Year is really beginning, and along with it, the weekly Torah cycle. It is most unfortunate that with all the catching up to do—along with the short week that follows Simchat...
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Breisheet: Purposeful Ambiguity

October 05, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d said: What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground" (Breisheet 4:10). G-d approached Cain after the murder of Hevel with a question, hoping that Cain would do teshuva for the murder of his brother. Did he? The text is unclear: "And Cain said to G-d: gadol avoni mi'n'so, [Is?]my sin is too great to bear" (Breisheet 4:13). Whether this is a...
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Breisheet: Let Us Make Man

October 27, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The belief in one G-d is perhaps the most fundamental teaching of Judaism. Thousands have died rather than negate this central tenet of Judaism. "In the beginning, G-d created the heaven and the earth" lays down the Biblical perspective right from the beginning. All that exists in this universe has only one source. While this may seem obvious to us, it is not necessarily inherently so. Could it not make more sense to argue that good...
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Breisheet: The Descent of Man

October 12, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The creation narrative has the world in beautiful harmony. Heaven and earth, sky and water, sun and moon, man and woman and in the view of our sages, the [yet to be created] Jewish people and Shabbat. Even the order of creation evokes symmetry and harmony. The light of day one leads to the sun of day four; the sky and the water of day two is the backdrop to the birds and the fish of day five; and the dry land of day three is the habitat of man...
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