Bechukotai: A Proper Ending

May 15, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A mark of a good book is a clear and coherent structure. The opening chapters set the tone, themes are appropriately developed, and the conclusion ties together the key elements of the story. Thus, when studying the Torah, we must look for instruction not only from its content, but also its form. What is the relationship between law and narrative? Why are certain laws introduced when they are? Why is the chronological sequence not always...
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Bechukotai: Casual Relationships

May 31, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Twice a year, before Shavuot and Rosh Hashana, we read the tochecha, the list of dire consequences that will, G-d forbid, befall the Jewish people if they do not follow the chukim and mitzvot of the Torah. Panic, economic ruin, cannibalism, death, destruction and exile are spelled out in vivid detail. While we are told that we must, in general, follow the chukim and mitzvot, surprisingly, the...
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Bechukotai: Living Together

May 18, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Jewish people have never been a large nation. Our strength lies in quality, not quantity. Nonetheless, precisely because we are so few in number, every Jew counts. Our vulnerability makes it incumbent upon us to work together as we strive to meet our mandate of being a holy nation that is a light unto the rest of the world.  Sina'at chinam, indifference towards others, is something that is much more deadly to us than most...
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Behar-Bechukotai: End of the Story

May 03, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“These are the commandments that G-d has commanded Moshe to the children of Israel on Mount Sinai (Vayikra 27:34).” Though it is the Book of Exodus that we associate with Har Sinai, it is at the end of Vayikra that the Torah actually places us there. “Joseph died at 110 years; they embalmed him, and he was placed in an aron, casket, in Egypt.” So concludes sefer Breisheet. Joseph, who saved so many...
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Bechukotai: Coming Home

May 21, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's d’var Torah is sponsored in memory of Dr. Solomon Burack, obm. by the Burack family. May his memory be a blessing. 

 The ability of the Jewish people to see hope when others see despair is perhaps the key to understanding the amazing tenacity of the Jewish people. It explains the difference between the great successes of the State of Israel, in contrast to the failed states that surround our homeland. While...
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