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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Terumah: Golden Surroundings

February 24, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the fiercest debates amongst medieval biblical commentaries was the extent to which parts of the Torah might be allegorical. The Ramban (Breisheet 18:1) does not take too kindly to the position of the Rambam (Guide 2:42) that the visit of the three angels to Abraham, or Jacob's struggle with an angel, was a prophetic vision that does not reflect physical reality. In more recent times, a related issue has arisen regarding the understanding...
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Terumah: The Aron of Eden

February 19, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Judaism sees the sparks of the Divine within the most mundane of activities. Revelation at Sinai is followed by a series of laws dealing with such topics as slavery, property damage, assault and battery, lost objects, and court procedures. While all societies have civil codes, Judaism sees these laws as rooted in the Divine system of justice. Their observance embodies the essence of Judaism no less—in fact more—than the “...
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Terumah: The Moving Ark

March 03, 2006 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Just as the Shabbat is the pinnacle of physical creation, the Mishkan is the pinnacle of spiritual creation. The Exodus and the revelation at Sinai find their ultimate expression in the Mishkan, which completes the redemptive process. It is for this reason, the Ramban explains, that the command to build the Mishkan is included in sefer Shemot. While Shabbat serves to remind us that G-d is the ultimate...
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