Terumah: It's all in the Details

February 07, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Symbols play a crucial role in self and group identification and affect almost everything we do. Be they roses or a diamond ring, symbols can speak louder than actions (not to mention words). Failure to understand the symbolic meaning behind many a gesture can lead to embarrassment and friction.  While symbols plays a major role in our personal lives they have an even greater role in the life of a nation. This is why burning a country...
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Terumah: I Love My Partner

February 16, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Torah begins with G-d’s creation of the world, a world that was purposeless without man. “Fill the earth and conquer it” (Breisheet 1:28) is G-d’s mandate to man to help complete the process of creation.  The mirror image is reflected in the construction of the mishkan. It is man who builds a beautiful structured edifice, to exacting specifications. Yet such a building is purposeless without G-d. “And...
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Terumah: Returning Home

March 03, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel recited in many of our congregations assumes that the modern-day state is the "beginning of the flowering of our redemption". For many, the notion that a secular state could herald the redemption was and remains unthinkable, while others maintain that it is best not to suggest that we understand G-d's historical plans. An alternate version of the prayer for the State of Israel used...
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Terumah: A Lighter Load

February 11, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The story is told that when the students of Rav Yisrael Salanter were preparing to bake matzah, they asked Rav Yisrael what they should be most careful about. Rav Yisrael, the founder of the Mussar movement, responded that they should ensure that the water buckets that the workers would have to carry for the baking of matzah should not be heavy. Worrying about possible chametz is important; worrying about the workers even more so. The...
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Terumah: Volunteers Needed

January 31, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Immediately after the Divine revelation at Sinai, the Torah in Parshat Mishpatim presents a long list of mitzvoth, highlighting the link between Torah and mitzvoth. G-d's covenant with the Jewish people is based on commandments that we must fulfill. Yet as is so typical of Jewish thought, one idea is followed by an opposing one. The centrality of obligation is immediately followed by one highlighting the great role of the volunteer. "...
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