Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

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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VaYeshev: The Successful Man

December 20, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Sages attach the appellation Tzadik, righteous one, to Yosef, presumably because of his ability to withstand the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife. Yet the Torah itself refers to Yosef as an Ish Matzliach[1], a successful person, no less than three times. And what a success story Yosef is. Pulled out of a pit and sold into slavery, Yosef rises to be the second most powerful person in the world...
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VaYishlach: The Unsung Hero

December 13, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
How common it is for people to return from a funeral and realize how little they knew about the deceased. All too often, it is only after a person’s death that one realizes the tremendous contributions made by the deceased. Alas, at that point, it is too late and we soon tend to return to our daily activities. “And Devorah, Rivka’s wet-nurse, died and she was buried below Beit-El under the oak, and he [Yaakov] called its name...
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