Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Tazria: Birth and Death

April 24, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no greater joy than having a child. From a religious perspective, bringing new life into this world is the most tangible way of demonstrating that we were created in G-d’s image. The initial biblical portrayal of G-d is that of a Creator. And the first mitzvah given to man is to be fruitful and multiply and to conquer the earth, mandating us to imitate and partner with G-d in the continuing process of creation. The Torah describes...
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Shmini: Comforting Cousins

April 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
At times of crisis, true leaders often emerge, be they political, military or religious. Their ability to effectively provide inspiration, motivation, hope, and comfort when needed sows seeds of evolutionary growth in the life of a nation. This is equally true on a personal level, especially when a sudden tragedy strikes. It is in these situations that great people reach for strength and ability they did not even know they possessed. ...
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Tzav: The Place of Sin

April 03, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"This is the law of the sin offering, chatat: at the place where the elevation offering, olah, is slaughtered shall the sin offering be slaughtered before G-d, it is holy of holies" (Vayikra 6:18). The korban chatat and korban olah are polar opposites. The korban olah reflects our total dedication to G-d. No part of the sacrifice is to be consumed by humans. It is, literally...
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Vayikra: A Book of Love

March 27, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Perhaps Man’s greatest fear is his ultimate irrelevance, that we really don’t make a difference and that in the greater scheme of things, our lives are for naught. This is why people yearn to leave a legacy, and it is often for this reason that people have children. The historical tendency to value male babies over females is due to the fact that it was (is?) the male who would carry on the family name and legacy. Upon marriage,...
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Pekudei: Time and Space

March 20, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And it was on first month of the second year on the first of the month that the Tabernacle was erected” (Shemot 40:17). The first of Nissan is a most special time in Jewish history. It was on this date that Moshe and Aharon began preparing the people for their exodus from Egypt. It is thereby "the head of the months", marking the beginning of national Jewish history. While the actual exodus did not take place until the...
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