Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Eikev: 100 Streams

August 07, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And now, Israel, what does G-d, Ma Hashem, want from you but just to fear the Lord your G-d, to walk in all His ways, to love Him and to worship the Lord your G-d with all your heart and all your soul" (Devarim 10:12). in a seemingly strange play on the word ma, The Talmud (Menachot 43b) derives from this verse the obligation to recite me'ah, 100 blessings a day.  According to...
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VaEtchanan: Beyond the Law

July 30, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The most obvious connection between Tisha b’Av and parshat Vaetchanan—which is always read on the Shabbat following this saddest of days—lies in the opening lines of the parsha, where Moshe pleads to enter the land from which his beloved people would be exiled hundreds of years later.   The origins of Tisha B’Av stem from the chet hameraglim, the sin of...
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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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The Nine Days: Aharon's Yahrzeit

July 21, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Aharon the priest ascended Hor Hahar and died there in the fortieth year... in the fifth month on the first of the month” (Bamidbar 33:38). It is on rare occasions that the Torah actually dates events recorded therein. Even the giving of the Torah at Sinai has no biblical date associated with it. Birthdays, anniversaries and yahrzeits are of little interest to the Bible. The tradition that Moshe dies on the 7th of Adar is one...
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Massei: Living in Canada

July 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Canada is a wonderful country, and as residents of this country, we are obliged by Torah law to abide by its laws and also pray for its welfare. However, it is not meant to be the home of the Jewish people. Canada is, after all, galut—exile. This is a hard concept for us to truly grasp, in a land with thriving yeshivot, a strong community infrastructure, financial success, and freedom to adhere to our religious beliefs....
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