Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Ki-Teze: Let's Make a Deal

August 28, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"All of man's earnings are decreed on Rosh Hashanah, except for expenses regarding Shabbat and Yom Tov and expenses relating to Jewish education" (Beitzah 16a). The more we spend in the latter two areas, the more G-d will graciously grant us. Though the above is hard to prove, it reflects the fundamental notion that while we are required to work for our sustenance, ultimately it is only through the...
Continue Reading »

Shoftim: Words are Not Enough

August 21, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"The hand of the witnesses should be against him first to put him to death, and the hand of the nation at the end" (Devarim 17:7). Giving testimony in a court of law, especially in capital cases, is an awesome responsibility. The Talmud describes the harsh tone and even accusatory statements directed at the witnesses, warning them of the dire consequences of false testimony: "You are responsible for their blood and the blood of...
Continue Reading »

Re'eh: Please Join Us

August 14, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the most vexing issues we face today is how to deal with those who violate, wilfully or not, the precepts of the Torah. Whether our approach should be one of rejection, reaching out, turning a blind eye, or even acceptance to some extent is one that has engendered much debate, and continues to do so. Such debate may be reflected in an ancient Talmudic debate regarding our relationship with G-d.  "You are the children of the...
Continue Reading »

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...
Continue Reading »

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...
Continue Reading »

Pages