Tetzaveh

Tetzaveh: Counting Sheep

February 23, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
In his introduction to his Eiyn Yaakov, the classic commentary on the non-legal sections of the Talmud, Rav Yaakov Ibn Chaviv quotes a discussion regarding the most important verse in the Torah. While each verse is the word of G-d, the rabbis debated which verse encapsulates the essence of our Torah. Ben Zomah, the second-century sage, claimed that it is the first verse of the Shema, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d,...
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Tezaveh: Constant Excitement

February 19, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
For many, when the Torah reading reaches the parshiot of Terumah and Tezaveh interest in the parsha wanes just a bit (or maybe more). It is hard to compare the technical details of these parshiot with the excitement of say the Yosef story. Add to that the inapplicability of these parshiot for the past 2,000 years and we can understand the lesser attention paid to them. And yet buried...
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Tezaveh: Beyond Clothes

February 27, 2015 By: rabbi jay kelman
One of the key ways by which groups self-identify is through the medium of clothes. Almost all religions have some form of dress code and uniforms, which aim to foster a sense of uniformity in action and sometimes in thought, are the norm among such diverse groups as the police force, athletes, fast-food workers and airlines. The more casual business attire now widely accepted reflects the desire for individuality in the workplace, as society...
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Tetzaveh: Clothes Make the Man

February 11, 2011 By: rabbi jay kelman
The billions of dollars spent by the fashion industry, not to mention the celebrity status of fashion gurus, testify to the importance attached to proper dress by the modern man and woman. But it may come as a surprise that Judaism also stresses the importance of clothing, well beyond aspects of modesty. Maimonides (source), in his monumental code of Jewish law, stresses the importance of wearing clean, even fashionable clothing, and warns...
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Tetzaveh: Nameless, But Not Forgotten

January 01, 2008 By: rabbi jay kelman
What's in a name? Clearly, names played an important role to our Biblical ancestors. The names of Chava, Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov and his children, and Moshe--to name just a few--reflect the circumstances of their birth, or a vision for their role in the future. We all know that people love hearing their name called, as it makes them feel important. Hence, common courtesy is to address people by their names instead...
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