Shemot: A New Leader

January 08, 2021 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In today's world of the 30-second soundbite, good oratory skills are a necessary ingredient for any aspiring politician. Good politicians are often able to talk themselves out of difficult positions spouting half-truths, equivocations, and at times, outright lies. A good politician knows how to talk without saying anything. Yet the greatest political leader of all time, Moshe Rabbeinu was a kvad peh...
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Shemot: Irrational Thinking

January 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Amongst the unsung heroes of the Jewish people are Shifra and Puah. Despite the genocidal decrees of the Egyptian regime against Jewish newborns, these two unknown women risked their lives to save the lives of others. This is all the more remarkable according to those commentaries that claim that Shifra and Puah were non-Jews, and thus, the first of the Righteous Gentiles. Surely they had to know that they might be caught—and they were....
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Shemot: No Thank You

December 28, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And Moshe was frightened and he said, behold the incident is known. And Pharaoh heard about the affair and he sought to kill Moshe” (Shemot 2:14-15). How did Moshe's killing of an Egyptian become public knowledge? Did not Moshe “look this way and that way” and see “that there was no man” (Shemot 2:12)? While it is possible that Moshe simply failed to notice some passing Egyptian, such an...
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Shemot: 59 Years!

January 05, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
What a difference 59 years can make. Despite Yaakov's insistence to be buried in Israel, "Yosef dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's household" (Breisheet 50:22). Whether he continued in his role of Viceroy of Egypt or retired from political life, the Torah does not say. Nonetheless, it does appear Yosef did have time to enjoy his old age at ease, spending precious time with his family. "Yosef saw...
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Shemot: It's All In The Name

January 01, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  I imagine most of us have experienced being in a noisy room focusing on the conversation we are engaged in, oblivious to the chatter around us - unless  and until someone mentions our name. At that point we instinctively turn around to see who is speaking. The ability to hear one's name above all else is dubbed the "cocktail party effect" as we focus our auditory skills on the particular stimuli that interest us,...
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