Eikev

Eikev: The Big Bribe

August 11, 2017 By: rabbi jay kelman
The measure of a human being is revealed by the little things. The greater the person, the more one understands the significance of the small details, not just the “big picture”. Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai, who was busy worrying about how Judaism could survive after the loss of the Temple, also pleaded with the Romans to send a doctor for Rav Tzadok (Gittin 56b). Rav Tzadok was an aged, pious individual who had fasted for many years as the...
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Eikev: Lots of Love

August 26, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
The Talmud declares that wisdom depends on the ability to make distinctions. It is for this reason that havdalah, the ritual marking the end of the distinctive Shabbat day, is recited in the blessing beseeching G-d for wisdom (Brachot 33a). The modern world all too often fails this crucial test of wisdom, preferring sweeping generalizations to nuanced analysis. It is this inability to see the shades of gray that allows extremism to grow,...
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Eikev: A Little Humility

August 07, 2015 By: rabbi jay kelman
  Moshe Rabbeinu was a most humble person. We know this because the Torah tells us so, the only trait of Moshe that the Torah actually enumerates. But we also know this as we read, week in and week out, how Moshe constantly put the needs of others ahead of his own.   We live in a generation when this quality of Moshe is often ignored. Arrogance, hubris and egotism abound. The entire marketing industry -something which successful...
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Eikev: Pain and Gain

August 15, 2014 By: rabbi jay kelman
“And they placed upon them taskmasters lema’an anoto, in order to afflict them in their burdens” (Shemot 1:11). This inuei, affliction is the first act  of the Egyptians once they made the decision to enslave the Jewish people. To afflict people and make people suffer is most terrible and the Torah implores us to learn from our experience in Egypt. “V’Ger lo toneh, you shall not...
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Eikev: Fear of G-d

July 26, 2013 By: rabbi jay kelman
Effort vs. result. The relative value of these two concepts is a fundamental dispute between our western worldview and Jewish teachings. The secular world is, as it must be, bottom-line oriented. From a Jewish perspective, it is effort, not result, that ultimately counts. G-d blessed us all with different and varying degrees of talent; thus, it would be unfair to expect similar results from all. Rather, it is the effort we expend on moral...
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