Devarim: Justice Justice You Shall Not Pursue

July 23, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The true state of health of any society can be determined by an examination of the justice system that it provides for its citizens. Are rich and poor, famous and infamous, powerful and weak treated alike, or does the degree of justice depend on one’s status in society, or ability to afford an expensive lawyer? Do people have confidence that illegal behaviour will not go unpunished?  We have seen time and time again that,...
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Devarim: Equality for all

August 09, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
With old age comes knowledge of life that can only be gained by experience. Thus, Jewish law insists that all elders, even non-observant or non-Jewish ones, must be given honour and respect. There is no substitute for experience. The more the person has experienced, the more they can teach us about life. Moshe Rabbeinu, as the only person to ever speak "face to face" with G-d, surely had much to impart to all of us. Knowing that he...
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Devarim: Where is the Temple?

July 20, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Each one of the five books of the Chumash has a unique central theme, be it the choosing of the Jewish nation, redemption, Torat kohanim or missed opportunities. A perusal of Sefer Devarim, both its law and narrative, will quickly reveal that the main message of this last book of Chumash is Moshe Rabbeinu preparing his beloved people for entry into the land of...
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Devarim: Heading Home

July 28, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The narrative portion of the Torah has come to an end. The last book of the Chumash, that of Devarim, concentrates on the charge that Moshe gave to the second generation of the Jewish nation as they were poised to enter the land of Israel. Though Moshe himself would be denied the opportunity to join his beloved nation in Israel, he spared no efforts warning them not to repeat the mistakes of the past....
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Devarim: Nation Building

August 12, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Eicha esa, how can I alone carry your contentiousness, your burdens and your quarrels?” (Devarim 1:12). After 40 long years, the Promised Land is finally in sight. Moshe Rabbeinu faithfully prepares the Jewish people for entry into the land, knowing full well that the more quickly he carries out his mission, the sooner he will die (Rashi, Bamidbar 31:3). Moshe spends the last five weeks of his life exhorting the people of...
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