Beha'alotcha: Out of Order

June 01, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And G-d spoke to Moshe in the Sinai desert in the second year of the Exodus from Egypt, in the first month” (Bamidbar 9:1). Pesach Sheni presents a second chance, the opportunity for those who were unable to bring the pesach sacrifice at the right time to do so. Pesach Sheni’s stories and laws, to which the above verse refers, are the chronological opening to the book of Bamidbar. Yet this verse appears only in...
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Behalotcha: Running Away

June 09, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"The Israelites marched for a three day journey “mei'har Hashem”, from G-d's mountain (Bamidbar 10:33). The Torah has been received, the Mishkan built and the gifts of the leaders brought. All that remains to complete the exodus is the journey to the land of Israel. The covenantal promise made to Abraham is about to be fulfilled. Yet disaster was about to strike. The Jewish...
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Behalotcha: Mr. Humble

June 24, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is the rare occasion when the Torah actually characterizes an individual. Rather through an analysis of the Biblical narrative, we are meant to draw appropriate conclusions, nuanced as they may be. It is, for example, the actions of Yosef and his brothers that are described in the text, without the Torah assigning blame for this tragic dispute. Of course this leads commentaries to differing conclusions, which no doubt is the intention of the...
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Behaalotcha: To Speak or Not to Speak

June 05, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
After reading through Sefer Breisheet and the sibling rivalry we encounter in generation after generation, it is a pleasure to come to Sefer Shemot and witness the beautiful sibling relationships between the children of Amram and Yocheved. It is Miriam who is responsible both for the birth of Moshe--according to the Midrash, it was she who convinced her parents to have another child, despite the bleak circumstances in which the Jewish...
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Beha'alotcha: What Goes Up Must Come Down

May 24, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"It was in the second year, on the 20th day of the second month, that the cloud [of glory] rose from the Tabernacle of Testimony" (Bamidbar 10:11). It was on the previous Rosh Chodesh Sivan that the Jewish people arrived at Sinai, spending a year (less ten days) there. And what a year it was! Within a week of arrival, they experienced Divine Revelation. That was quickly (and sadly) followed by the sin of the Golden Calf, as...
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