Korach: No Unity Without Diversity

July 05, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is in times of crisis that effective leadership is most important—and the years spent wandering in the desert represented the first major crisis of the Jewish people. Aimlessly wandering with little to look forward to, knowing that they would die in the desert, the hope and excitement of the Exodus was long gone. It is not surprising that, when faced with a crisis, instead of looking inward, people often look to blame others for their...
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Korach: Holy and More Holy

June 15, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Torah was "edited" with great precision. Narrative and law are often intertwined; one sheds light on the other. While our tradition teaches that the entire corpus of Biblical Law was given at Sinai, many, if not most, of the laws are recorded in multiple places in the Torah, each instance of repetition adding nuances and shadings of meaning. The principle of ein mukdam umeuchar baTorah, events in the Torah...
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Korach: Power Outage!

June 23, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The lust for power can destroy a person. It is amazing how people who are otherwise very competent are blinded to reality when the smell of power is in the air. We need look no further than the central character of this week's parsha, KorachAs our Rabbis tell us (see Rashi Bamidbar 16:7), Korach was a smart man. What did he think he would gain by trying to oust Moshe and Aharon? Did he really think he would be...
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Korach: Don't Blame Me

July 08, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
What does it take to convince somebody that they are wrong? Humans have an unbelievable ability to ignore the obvious as they cling to discredited ideas. Admitting wrong is one of the hardest things for a person to do. This is why the teshuva process is so difficult, and that properly admitting our mistakes, vidui, is an integral and excruciatingly difficult part of the process.    A brief...
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Korach: Choose Wisely

June 19, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's d'var Torah is dedicated in honour of my father Rabbi Joseph Kelman z"l whose yahrzeit is this week. May his memory be for a blessing.  --JHK  It often takes a crisis to bring people together. The greater the crisis, the greater the sense of unity. Countries at war generally unite around their leadership, and issues that caused great public debate are quickly pushed to the back burner....
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