VaEra: The Sons of Korach

January 04, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The initial meeting between Moshe and Pharaoh did not go well. The workload placed on the poor Jewish slaves was increased, and more importantly, the people's morale was shattered. Whereas initially, "the people believed, and they heard that G-d had remembered the people of Israel" (Shemot 4:31), as conditions worsened, "they did not listen to Moshe from shortness of breath and hard work" (Shemot 6:9). Moshe is...
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Vaera: Top Down Morality

January 12, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Whether it is in the sphere of politics, religious life or in the sphere of general morality, one often hears people bemoaning the dearth of leadership that seems to surround us. We yearn for men and women of vision, tenacity, determination and most importantly moral vision to lead us - instead of those who may just be following the latest opinion poll. Sadly, our generation has not always been able to attract the most capable people into...
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Vaera: When the Going Gets Tough

January 27, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The story of the slavery and subsequent redemption of the Jewish people focuses almost entirely on Moshe, Aharon and Pharaoh. Strangely, the thoughts, feelings, and actions of both the Egyptian and Jewish people are barely noted. Although we are privy to the suggestions of Pharaoh's advisors throughout the plagues, we hear nothing of the reaction of the populace. Did they support Pharaoh’s intransigence?  Did they see the plagues...
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VaEra: Fighting Fate

January 08, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the amazing features of man is his ability to adapt to practically any and all situations. When facing tragedy, we often feel that we can no longer go on. Yet the successful lives that so many Holocaust survivors have built testify to the ability, even need, to move forward notwithstanding that so much has been forever lost. Financial ruin, divorce, and the death of close ones must not deter us from making the best of our situation....
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Va'era: Searching for G-d?

January 16, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d spoke to Moshe, and said to him, 'I am the Lord. I revealed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as G-d Almighty, but My name YHVH I did not allow them to know'" (Shemot 6:2). While the exact meaning of this verse is not easily understood--after all, the name YHVH is used often in sefer Breisheet--what is most clear is that G-d was about to reveal himself in a manner that was hitherto unknown. Many explain...
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