Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Ki-Teze: Demanding More

August 22, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
When studying Torah we must study not only its content, but also its form; not just what the Torah says, but also how it says it. Proper study requires that we analyze, as best we can, the editorial decisions of the Divine author of the Torah.  Why, for example, are the laws of shmitta divided such that the agricultural aspects are presented in parshat Behar, whereas the fact that outstanding...
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Shoftim: Enabling Evil

August 17, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Evil does not exist in a vacuum. A culture is needed for evil to be nurtured, in which it can grow and develop. And when that happens, aveirah gorreret aveirah; one misdeed leads to another, greater sin. Perpetrators of corporate wrongdoing do not begin by defrauding shareholders of billions of dollars. Rather, they might begin with a little plagiarism in college, and some padding of a resume. They may then move on to...
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Re'eh: Springtime

August 10, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Guard the month of the spring, and make Pesach to the Lord your G-d, because it was in the month of the spring that the Lord your G-d took you out of Egypt at night” (Devarim 16:1). Our rabbis derived from the above verse that we must fix our calendar so that Pesach always falls in the spring. Our holidays celebrate both momentous events in Jewish history and the blessing of agriculture, acknowledging that the G-d of Creation and...
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VaEtchanan: An Extra And

July 27, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Shamor v’Zachor b’dibur echad". This phrase, sung every Friday night, notes the most famous difference between the recording of the aseret hadibrot in parshat Yitro, where we are commanded to “remember, zachor, the Shabbat” and Moshe's recounting of the events 40 years later, where we are commanded to “guard, shamor, the Shabbat...
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Devarim: Where is the Temple?

July 20, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Each one of the five books of the Chumash has a unique central theme, be it the choosing of the Jewish nation, redemption, Torat kohanim or missed opportunities. A perusal of Sefer Devarim, both its law and narrative, will quickly reveal that the main message of this last book of Chumash is Moshe Rabbeinu preparing his beloved people for entry into the land of...
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