Emor: The Joys of a Kohen

May 02, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Being a kohen today is not what it used to be. While one may receive more aliyot and lead birchat hamazon on a regular basis, a kohen is bound by the many restrictions of the Torah without "reaping its benefits". There are strict restrictions on whom they may marry and whom they may bury. This, despite the fact that there is no Temple for them to work in, no sacrifices to...
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Emor: G-d's Name

May 11, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Of all possible wrongdoings, only one does not allow for the possibility of teshuva, repentance. Causing a chilul Hashem, a desecration of G-d's name, is not something for which one can just say sorry, promise never to do it again, and move on. The lingering effects of desecrating G-d's name do not go away just because one is sorry. The Rambam (Hilchot Teshuva 1:4) writes that it is only upon death that repentance might be obtained. If...
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Emor: Religious Secularism

May 02, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Two of the most dangerous threats to society are religious fanaticism and rampant secularism. The dangers of the former have received more attention in recent years, as people literally fear for their physical safety. Furthermore, violently extremist positions that claim to be divinely based are a desecration of the name of G-d and affect all practitioners of religious faith. When people are convinced G-d is on their side even as they engage in...
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