Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Acharei-Mot: A Word Apart

May 03, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your G-d: Do not follow the ways of Egypt where you once lived, nor of Canaan where I will be bringing you’” (Vayikra 18:1-2). With this verse, the Torah introduces what we might call Jewish sexual ethics. The parameters of incest, the laws of family purity, the prohibitions of adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality are all mentioned here. What does all this...
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Last Day(s) of Pesach: Reach for the Top

April 25, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
As we all know too well, there is often a gap between the ideal and reality. In trying to implement our goals, we all too often fall prey to conflict, apathy, inertia and reality. The Jewish people faced this same problem as they approached the sea. Behind them was the advancing Egyptian army with its mighty chariots; in front of them was a foreboding sea. Yet their miraculous escape from the most powerful country on earth seemed to have finally...
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Metzora: Covering the Lips

April 12, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Judaism teaches that everything has the potential for holiness; after all everything in this world was created by G-d. But it is up to man to actualize that potential and imbue the world with holiness. Eating, marital relations, and earning a livelihood are not only a means to an end, but if done properly are acts that are instinctively holy and the fulfilment of a divine mitzvah. The physical and spiritual worlds are not meant to be in conflict...
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Tazria and Hachodesh: Home Building

April 05, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The first of Nissan and the first of Tishrei mark the beginnings of the Jewish year. The solar aspect of our calendar—representing the fixed laws of nature—begins in Tishrei; whereas the lunar cycle—symbolizing the ups and down of Jewish history—begins on the first of Nissan. The solar year mirrors the agricultural cycle and begins as the rainy season approaches, whereas the lunar year, reflecting the supernatural...
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Shmini: Tragic Lessons

March 29, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
When tragedy strikes there is a tendency to search for some rational explanation as we subsequently attempt to find meaning and a degree of comfort, however inadequate. Tragic events often afford an opportunity to learn from what transpired, thereby creating something positive, and possibly helping to prevent further tragedies. The attempt to find some rationale for what is almost by definition irrational dates back to Biblical times. While...
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