Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Lech Lecha: On the Move

October 30, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Sefer Breisheet might be described as the book of movement. Beginning with the heavenly spheres and moving to birds, fish, animals and humans sefer Breisheet depicts much movement.  Adam and Eve were forced to leave Gan Eden, Cain was told he must “wander here and there”, Noach had to travel on a boat to be saved. The tower of Bavel began when “the whole earth was one language...and they journeyed from the east” (...
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Noach: From Noach to Avraham

October 23, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We tend to view Adam as a failure at life, unable to obey his only command from G-d. Noach was better, yet many see him as one who could have accomplished so much more than what he did. Only with the advent of Avraham do we have the person capable of bringing G-d’s message to mankind. One of the criticisms of Noach is that he did little to influence others, and ultimately had little impact on society around him. Unlike Avraham, who...
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Breisheet: Guardians of the Garden

October 16, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it, l'ovdah, and watch it, l'shomrah" (Breisheet 2:15). A perfect world beckons. Everything is "very good" and man, as the centre of creation, is free to enjoy the fruits of G-d's labour. He is to “fill the earth and conquer it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast...
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Haazinu: The Joy of Sinning

September 25, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Sinning is meant to be enjoyable. If not, there would be no point to it. How ironic, then, when a person sins and does not derive any pleasure. A person experiments with non-kosher food and does not like the taste. Or, one decides that in order to get ahead financially, one must work on Shabbat. And, lo and behold, one is passed over for a promotion, which instead goes to your Shabbat-observant colleague.  This, Rav Soloveitchik explains,...
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Vayelech: Naming Rights

September 11, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We tend to think that the names of the weekly parshiot have little intrinsic meaning; they are just taken from the opening word or two of the parsha. Thus, breisheet, being the first word of the Bible, becomes the name for both the first book and the weekly parsha. Upon closer examination we begin to realize that it might not be quite that simple. For example, two of the parshiot in sefer...
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