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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Eikev: The Sweat of Your Brow

August 10, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Raising an independent nation is no easy task. The generation that left Egypt was (understandably) not up to the task. Whether or not their children would be was something of an open question. Moshe spends almost the entire book of Devarim preparing the people so that their entry into the land is a successful and permanent one. He was undoubtedly worried about what might be; he knew he would not be joining them. The last time Moshe left B'nai...
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Eikev: Missing Commandments

August 20, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Had things gone according to plan, the Chumash would be a much shorter book. If not for the sin of the golden calf, there would have been no need for a second set of tablets; and there would have been, at least according to Rashi (Shemot 31:18), no need for a Mishkan. It was only because of the chet haegel that there was a need for a tangible place that would serve as the central place to worship G-d. And if not for the sin of the spies...
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