Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Toldot: A Second Famine

November 09, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“And there was a famine in the land, aside from the first famine that was in the days of Avraham...And G-d appeared to him [Yitzchak] and said: Do not go down to Egypt, dwell in the land that I will tell you” (Breisheet 26:1-2). It is quite clear that this famine was not the same one that occurred during the days of Avraham. Approximately 100 years had lapsed since Avraham went to Egypt searching for food. Presumably, Avraham...
Continue Reading »

Chayei Sarah: Anonymous

November 02, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
Man has an innate desire to make a name for himself. The fear of being forgotten is a fear that grips us all. For many, this serves as a key stimulus to have children (and in many cultures, specifically male children) who will carry on the family legacy. This desire not to be forgotten motivates some to write books, some to build monuments and even some to enter public life, hoping to attain some measure of immortality. "There are three...
Continue Reading »

VaYerah: Living in Sedom

October 26, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“And the people of Sedom were evil and sinners towards G-d beyond all measure” (Breisheet 13:13). Despite their depravity, Avraham Avinu argued, challenged, pleaded and negotiated with G-d for their welfare. It is specifically this trait of caring and concern for “evil” people—a trait that characterized all the Avot and Imahot—that demonstrates their greatness. They may...
Continue Reading »

Lech Lecha: Counting Sheep

October 19, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
"And there was an argument between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock, and the Canaanite and the Perizite were then in the land" (Breisheet 13:7).   Abram, Sarai, and Lot returned to Israel after their stay in Egypt, one which had brought them great financial success. As is too often the case, with increased wealth comes increased fighting. Instead of being thankful for one's...
Continue Reading »

Noach: Coming Apart, Coming Together

October 11, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“And the entire land were of one language, and the same things” (Breisheet 11:1). What a beautiful description of a world at peace! A world in which people are speaking the same language, literally and figuratively, and pursuing similar goals sounds almost like Gan Eden. Yet apparently, G-d did not approve. “From the place, G-d scattered them all over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city” (Breisheet...
Continue Reading »

Pages