Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Vaera: It Took A While

January 24, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Moshe was frustrated. Having been coerced by G-d to redeem the Jewish people, things were not going as planned. As Moshe confronted Pharaoh, demanding—as G-d had instructed—that he let them go free, Pharaoh worsened the conditions for the Jewish people. Moshe could not take it and cried out, “O Lord, why do You mistreat Your people? Why did You send me? As soon as I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he made things worse...
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Shemot: Irrational Thinking

January 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Amongst the unsung heroes of the Jewish people are Shifra and Puah. Despite the genocidal decrees of the Egyptian regime against Jewish newborns, these two unknown women risked their lives to save the lives of others. This is all the more remarkable according to those commentaries that claim that Shifra and Puah were non-Jews, and thus, the first of the Righteous Gentiles. Surely they had to know that they might be caught—and they were....
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Vayechi: Time for a Kiss

January 10, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
People often mistakenly think that truly righteous people are somehow different, perhaps not totally "normal".  Somehow we assume that, unlike regular people, tzadikim (to paraphrase Shakespeare) "don't bleed or feel like we do". This approach is alien to Judaism.  Yaakov called for Yosef to come to his bedside so that he could impart a final message to him. Yosef hurriedly came, bringing his...
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VaYigash: A Pilot Trip

January 03, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "And he [Yaakov] sent Judah ahead of him l'horot, to make preparations, in Goshen (Breisheet 46:28). With great fear and trepidation, Yaakov, along with 68 of his descendants, began the long trip down to Egypt. Despite his tremendous joy at knowing Yosef was alive and doing very well, Yaakov—not without reason—feared for the spiritual future of his descendants. Only after G-d assured him...
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Miketz: Home weet Home

December 27, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
That one has a natural love for one's place of birth is a truism long recognized by our Talmudic sages. Emigration is never an easy prospect, even for those who do so willingly. How much more difficult and traumatic is a forced exile? We are all aware of the great difficulties many Jews fleeing anti-Semitism had in integrating into their new-found countries. And perhaps most painful is being forced to leave at the hands of their...
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