Chukat: Undressing Aaron

June 27, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Take Aaron, and Elazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; and strip Aaron of his vestments, and dress Elazar his son in them; Aaron shall be gathered in and die there" (20:25-26). It was only after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden that man had a need for clothing: "then the eyes of both of them [Adam and Eve] were opened and they realized that they were naked" (Breisheet 3:7). Up until the point of sin, the...
Continue Reading »

Chukat: Miriam the First

June 14, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's devar Torah is dedicated in honour of the bat mitzvah of Temira Koenig. Mazal tov to her parents, Tali and Jason, and to the entire family. May Temira follow in the footsteps of Miriam, sanctifying the name of G-d in all that she does. “And the Jewish people, the entire congregation, came to Midbar Zin in the first month, and they dwelled in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there” (20:1...
Continue Reading »

Chukat: Second Chances

June 29, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's dvar Torah is sponsored by Golda Brown and Harry Krakowsky in memory of their dear son, Moshe Chanoch, obm. The law of the red heifer serves as the break between two separate but similar narratives: those relating to the generation that left Egypt, and those relating to the generation that was about to enter the land of Israel. A cursory read of the Torah can easily lead one to think that we are reading not two different stories, but...
Continue Reading »

Chukat: Dying of Thirst

June 22, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the most beautiful and impactful aspects of the Torah is its description of the humanity of its protagonists. Their strengths and struggles, heroism and failures, highs and lows are depicted before us, allowing us to much more readily identify with and learn from them. The realization that our Avot and Imahot had many crises within their own lives, or that Moshe himself had to struggle to contain his temper, can guide us...
Continue Reading »