Mikketz: Family First

December 18, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Judaism has long maintained that a strong family life is the most important ingredient in creating and sustaining a person of character and integrity. The Torah spends an entire book detailing the family life of our founders; there is much to strive to emulate and what to strive to avoid. Their struggles demonstrate that despite life’s challenges we can attain greatness. If we are fortunate, the lessons learned from our upbringing are so...
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Miketz: Home Sweet Home

December 27, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
That one has a natural love for one's place of birth is a truism long recognized by our Talmudic sages. Emigration is never an easy prospect, even for those who do so willingly. How much more difficult and traumatic is a forced exile? We are all aware of the great difficulties many Jews fleeing anti-Semitism had in integrating into their new-found countries. And perhaps most painful is being forced to leave at the hands of their...
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Mikketz: Boom and Bust

December 07, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the central motifs of the biblical narrative is food. Matzah, manna, and mei merivah help to highlight the crucial role of food in shaping the course of Jewish history. The entire course of human destiny was changed due to Adam and Eve’s eating from the eitz hada'at. To a great extent our holiest days of the year, Shabbat and Yom Tov, centre on food. Even Yom Kippur is preceded by a Biblical...
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Mikketz: In G-d We Trust

December 15, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
How unfortunate when man must put his fate in the hands of other men. “And the warden had placed all the prisoners in the dungeon under Yosef’s charge. Yosef took care of everything that had to be done” (Breisheet 39:22). In the depths of the prison dungeon Yosef had risen to the top. He correctly interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker. All that Joseph asked was to “do me a favour and say something about me...
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Mikketz: Counting on Charisma

December 30, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Yosef was a most charismatic figure. How else to explain the appeal he had to so many people? The Torah wastes little time in telling us that, both in Potiphar’s home and in jail, he immediately found favour in the eyes of his bosses. It is hard to believe his work ethic alone got him such quick promotions. His personality must have radiated competence and leadership. We should not be surprised that Potiphar’s wife would be...
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