Re'eh

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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Re'eh: Do You Love Me?

August 14, 2015 By: rabbi jay kelman
How can you tell if somebody loves you? We all understand that words alone are hollow, and that it is actions that count. Even so, it is not always easy to understand the actions of others. Misreading one's intentions in this sensitive area can have disastrous consequences. Imputing noble motives where none exist is no less dangerous than falsely accusing someone of nefarious intentions. While the latter is liable to lead to tensions, the...
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Re'eh: Behind the Scenes

September 07, 2014 By: rabbi jay kelman
Showing extra sensitivity to the needs of the poor, the widow, orphan, servant, and stranger is a central theme of the Torah. This is especially so around the holidays, when the needy are more likely to feel lonely and forgotten. Somewhat more surprising is the Torah's constant admonition not to forget the Levi. At first glance, it would seem that the Levites were part of the privileged class. They were entrusted with the honour of carrying...
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