Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Emor: A Second Yom-Tov

May 08, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“You shall count seven complete weeks from the day following the Shabbat from the day you brought the omer as a wave offering seven complete weeks they shall be...on the 50th day you shall present a new meal offering to the Lord" (Vayikra 23:15-16). The holiday of Shavuot - marking the beginning of the wheat harvest - lacks its own independent date, its celebration linked to Pesach. We tend to think of...
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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim: On Our Way

May 01, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Do not follow the ways of Egypt, where you once lived” (Vayikra 18:2). The Jewish people's formative years were those we spent in the land of Egypt, something for which we are to be eternally grateful. “Do not despise the Egyptian, since you were an immigrant in his land” (Devarim 23:8). Unlike the nations of Amon and Moav, whose [male] progeny are forever barred from joining the Jewish faith, the “children of...
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Tazria: Birth and Death

April 24, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no greater joy than having a child. From a religious perspective, bringing new life into this world is the most tangible way of demonstrating that we were created in G-d’s image. The initial biblical portrayal of G-d is that of a Creator. And the first mitzvah given to man is to be fruitful and multiply and to conquer the earth, mandating us to imitate and partner with G-d in the continuing process of creation. The Torah describes...
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Shmini: Comforting Cousins

April 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
At times of crisis, true leaders often emerge, be they political, military or religious. Their ability to effectively provide inspiration, motivation, hope, and comfort when needed sows seeds of evolutionary growth in the life of a nation. This is equally true on a personal level, especially when a sudden tragedy strikes. It is in these situations that great people reach for strength and ability they did not even know they possessed. ...
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Tzav: The Place of Sin

April 03, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"This is the law of the sin offering, chatat: at the place where the elevation offering, olah, is slaughtered shall the sin offering be slaughtered before G-d, it is holy of holies" (Vayikra 6:18). The korban chatat and korban olah are polar opposites. The korban olah reflects our total dedication to G-d. No part of the sacrifice is to be consumed by humans. It is, literally...
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