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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Bechukotai: A Proper Ending

June 03, 2016 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 followed...
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Behar-Bechukotai: Working for G-d

May 17, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Torah was wary of the employer-employee relationship. Almost by definition, an employee is not much different than a slave; both are told what to do, when to do it and how it is to be done. “For [all of] you are slaves unto Me”. As our Sages teach, we are not meant to be slaves of slaves.It can be quite natural for an employer to treat his employee like a slave, even if the employee is treated with dignity. To help this imbalance, Jewish law...
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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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