Nasso: The Righteous Adulterer

June 05, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  Judaism has long insisted that we give people the benefit of the doubt: one is innocent until proven guilty. It is always difficult to determine what happened in any questionable situation and even in those rare cases when we might know all the facts, we will rarely be privy to a person's motivation, a factor that is most crucial and telling. This reluctance to judge others is rooted in the fact that only G-d is the true...
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Naso: Counting Our Blessings

June 14, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A Jew is commanded to recite one hundred blessings each and every day (Menachot 43b). We need constant reminders to ensure that we recognize the blessings of G-d and to remind ourselves that in all of our actions we are to reflect the Divine image. While most of the brachot we make consist of man acknowledging G-d as the master of the world, the priestly blessings are an exception to this pattern. In this particular blessing...
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Nasso: More is Less

May 25, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Torah uses its words sparingly—and sometimes not at all. The Torah tells us very little about the laws of Shabbat[1]. They are, in the poetic words of the Mishna (Chagigah 10a), “like mountains reliant on a thread of hair” or, in the case of annulling vows, “floating in the air with nothing to lean on”. It is only through the Oral Law that we can begin to understand how to observe these laws. Yet strangely...
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Naso: To Be or Not to Be!

June 02, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A fundamental question that has been debated since the beginning of Jewish history regards the degree of contact and integration one should have with outside culture. Should we embrace it, drawing out its positive features as we assimilate it into our Torah worldview? Should we try to achieve a deeper understanding of Torah through a study of "non-Torah" sources, or should we avoid the potentially corrosive...
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Nasso: Time for Repentance

June 17, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Torah was given to us on at least two occasions. The first revelation just weeks after the exodus was ineffectual as the people built a golden calf a mere 40 days later. The Torah that we have in our possession today was in actuality given after Moshe succeeded in gaining forgiveness for the people, what we today know as Yom Kippur, a day henceforth reserved for renewing our relationship with G-d. One of the key components of Yom Kippur is...
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