Re'eh: Please Join Us

August 14, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the most vexing issues we face today is how to deal with those who violate, wilfully or not, the precepts of the Torah. Whether our approach should be one of rejection, reaching out, turning a blind eye, or even acceptance to some extent is one that has engendered much debate, and continues to do so. Such debate may be reflected in an ancient Talmudic debate regarding our relationship with G-d.  "You are the children of the...
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Re'eh: Conflicting Emotions

August 30, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is difficult to feel two contradictory emotions at the same time. Conflicting, if not contradictory, emotions such as joy and sadness, love and hate, fear and comfort, do not easily co-exist. As human beings constantly struggle with conflicting emotions, Judaism, wanting to give each its proper time for expression, separates differing emotions into separate days.   The fear that gripped the Jewish people during the...
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Re'eh: Springtime

August 10, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Guard the month of the spring, and make Pesach to the Lord your G-d, because it was in the month of the spring that the Lord your G-d took you out of Egypt at night” (Devarim 16:1). Our rabbis derived from the above verse that we must fix our calendar so that Pesach always falls in the spring. Our holidays celebrate both momentous events in Jewish history and the blessing of agriculture, acknowledging that the G-d of Creation and...
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Re'eh: A Special Place

August 18, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The land of Israel is a special, holy land and thus, all produce grown on it has properties of holiness. This is the underpinning of such laws of terumah, ma’aser, bikurim, challah, shmitah and yovel. Unfortunately, many of us see the main distinction between life in Israel and in the Diaspora in relation to the laws of agriculture. We often lose sight of the fact that it is only in Israel where all of...
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Re'eh: It's Elul Time

September 02, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"For the sin that we have sinned before You through hardness of the heart."  With the month of Elul approaching, our thoughts turn to self-evaluation and the process of teshuva. It is with the heart that we begin. The sin of hardening of one's heart is the first of the 22 pairs of al chets that are designed to facilitate thinking about and acting upon those areas in which we may need to improve....
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